Man accused of murdering Wigan dad Liam Smith makes his first court appearance

A man accused of gunning down a Wigan dad outside his home has appeared before justices.

Michael Hillier is charged with the murder of 38-year-old Shevington businessman and father of two Liam Smith outside his home in Kilburn Drive, Shevington, on the evening of Thursday November 24 last year.

The suspect, also 38 and of Ecclesall Road in Sheffield, stood before Manchester and Salford magistrates for a brief hearing on the morning of Tuesday January 24.

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He was remanded into custody at Forest Bank Prison pending his first appearance before a judge on Wednesday January 25 at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square.

As Hillier was appearing in court, Mr Smith’s parents were taking part in a press conference at Greater Manchester Police headquarters at which they spoke of their devastation at their loss and utter bafflement as to why anyone would want to kill their son.

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A post-mortem examination revealed that the victim had died of a gunshot wound and had also been dowsed in both acid and alkali substances after being attacked on his drive.

A 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to commit Mr Smith's murder last week and, after questioning, was released on bail pending further inquiries.