Man accused of acid and gun murder in Wigan due to stand trial in July

Liam Smith was a dad of two Credit: Family handout

A man accused of the murder of a dad of two who was shot dead and doused in acid on a street in Wigan is due to stand trial in July 2023.

Liam Smith, 38, was found dead on the pavement just yards from his home on Kilburn Drive in Shevington on the evening of Thursday 24 November 2022.

Tests showed he had suffered a fatal gunshot wound and his body was also covered with acid.

Michael Hillier, 38, from Ecclesall Road in Sheffield is charged with Liam's murder.

He appeared at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday 25 January with a provisional trial date set for 10 July.

Mr Hillier will be back at Crown Court on 27 March for a plea and directions hearing.

Liam's body was found yards from his home on Kilburn Drive in Shevington Credit: ITV News

Despite the murder charge Greater Manchester Police say their investigation is very much ongoing and they need to trace a car which was seen close to the murder scene on two occasions.

The dark grey Mitsubishi Shogun Elegance model had different number plates each time.

It was first spotted on 2 November - three weeks before Liam's murder - close to his house with the registration plates EJ57 UPE.

Police say this distinctive number plate may "make people think of Rita Ora" Credit: GMP

On the day of the murder, 24 November, it had different a different number plate, R22 ORA - which police say "may make people think of Rita Ora".

It was in the area around Liam's estate for 10 hours leading up to him being killed.

DCI Gina Brennand said the "true keepers of these number plates have no connection to this investigation".

She added: "The car has clear linear damage to the near rear side behind the rear wheel arch and a lens missing on the front offside fog light. It's true plates are unknown at this time.

Police are appealing to trace this car which was seen outside Liam's home on two occasions. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

"The car also had a hi vis workers jacket draped over the driver’s seat."

"We need any information on the whereabouts of this vehicle, which has still not been found.

"Who it was bought from and whether it has been sold recently and also whether it has been in a garage for any repairs, or recently scrapped.

"This may hold the missing information that we need to find answers for Liam’s family."

Can you help?

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 910 of 25/11/2022.

Information can also be submitted through the Major Incident Public Portal.