Christopher Hughes: nine accused of murder conspiracy appear in court

Mr Hughes, from Wigan, was found dead in Skelmersdale earlier this year.

<p>Christopher Hughes with his mum Susan</p>

Christopher Hughes with his mum Susan

Nine men accused of conspiring to murder a Wigan dad have all entered not guilty pleas.

Christopher Hughes, 37, from Marsh Green, was found dead on White Moss Road South, near the M58 in Skelmersdale, in February.

Nine men have appeared before a Manchester Crown Court judge this week to deny the single charge against each of them.

The nine defendants are: Martin Smith, 33, of Laithwaite Road, Worsley Hall, Andrius Uzkuraitis, 26, of Holly Road, Worsley Hall; Alan Jaf, 51, of Ridyard Street, Worsley Hall; Khalil Awla, 48, of Greenwood Avenue, Worsley Hall; Erland Spahiu, 33, of Uppingham, Skelmersdale; Curtis Balbas, 30, of Matheson Drive, Worsley Hall; Dean Smeaton O’Neill-Davey, 29 of Bulteel Street, Pemberton; Mohammed Razgar, 40, of Plane Avenue, Worsley Hall; and Erion Voja, 20, of Peall Road, Croydon, London.

They were all remanded in custody ahead of a case management hearing on 25 July.

A trial date has been set for 17 October but it has not yet been confirmed whether it will take place at Manchester Crown Square or Liverpool Crown Court.

Police are continuing to investigate Mr Hughes’ death and anyone with information is asked to contact them, quoting Operation Feverfew, either online or by calling 0161 856 3400.

Information can also be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

(Proceeding)

  • A version of this story appeared on our sister title Wigan Post.