Daughter of murdered Billy Webb makes fresh plea for information on anniversary of his death

The daughter of a man murdered in Wigan has appealed for information about her father’s unsolved killing on the anniversary of his death.

Friday, 24th May 2019, 2:06 pm
Updated Friday, 24th May 2019, 3:06 pm
Police outside the scene of the crime in 2001

Ashlea Parr spoke of her anguish at the silence that has lasted 18 years after dad Billy Webb was gunned down.

The 42-year-old, whose real name was William Craig, was shot to death by two armed men as he lay in bed at his flat at Whiteledge Road, Bryn, on May 25, 2001.

The execution-style death shocked the borough to the core, and the gunmen have never been brought to justice.

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Police outside the scene of the crime in 2001

A 21-year-old woman who was in a casual relationship with Mr Webb was also badly wounded during the attack.

And on the anniversary of the traumatic events, Ashlea pleaded with people to do what nobody has done to this day - talk.

"When I say nobody spoke out, I mean it. They just didn’t care," Ashlea said.

"And because nobody talked, I just get told stories about what happened."

Mr Webb's grave

Ashlea, from Great Lever in Bolton, revealed the unending heartache she was dealt by the murder.

"I was six when it happened.

"It has ruined my life."

Ashlea continues to urge anyone who many know anything to come forward and help solve the notorious killing.

Billy Webb

Detectives were, for a long time, trying to trace three black men seen driving past Webb’s flat in a white or powder blue Ford Mondeo or Orion, twice on the day before the murder.

Attempts were also made to trace a motorcyclist.

The only two men ever tried in connection to the killing were cleared after the case against them sensationally collapsed, two years after Webb’s murder.

Brian Roper and Paul Swann were found not guilty of conspiracy to murder in 2003, after their defence submitted that there was insufficient evidence against them.

The judge in the case eventually directed the jury to find the pair not guilty. It had never been suggested that either man pulled the trigger.

Mr Webb’s violent death came two-and-a-half years after he figured in the notorious Dillon Hull murder trial.

Dillon, aged five, was shot in the head in the Deane area of Bolton, by a lone gunman. He was the innocent young victim of a drugs war.

It was claimed at the Preston Crown Court murder trial that Webb and Dillon’s stepfather, John Bates, had a meeting at the Ancient Shepherd pub in Bolton town centre about drug-dealing shortly before Dillon was shot.

John Barber, a drugs baron, extradited from Spain, was also quizzed by detectives probing Mr Webb’s murder.

Barber fled Britain in 2002, part way through his Liverpool Crown Court trial where he was accused of heading a major heroin and cocaine-smuggling racket from his home town of Bolton.

His trial had heard that he and Mr Webb worked together to run the drug cartel and knew each other well.

The murder victim had been due to stand in the dock alongside Barber on similar class-A drug trafficking charges, but he was shot before the case reached court.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police’s major crime unit visited Barber in Long Lartin jail, Worcestershire, but he refused to answer questions.

Mr Webb's case remains open to this day. Anyone with information should call Greater Manchester Police cold case unit on 0161 856 5961.