Five in court for murder of Christopher Hughes, 37, whose body was found in ditch by dog walker 


Five appear in court charged with conspiracy to murder 37-year-old father whose body was found in ditch by dog walker

  • Body of Christopher Hughes, 37, found in ditch near busy M58 in Lancashire  
  • A post-mortem concluded the father had died from a string of ‘serious injuries’ 
  • Five men have since been charged with conspiracy to commit murder 
  • Alan Jaf, 51, Khalil Awla, 48, Erland Spahiu, 33, Curtis Balbas, 30, and Dean Smeaton O’Neill-Davey, 29, were remanded in custody before next court hearing


Five men have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder after a father’s body was discovered in a ditch near a busy motorway.

The body of Christopher Hughes, 37, was discovered by a dogwalker near to the M58 in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, on the morning of Tuesday, February 22. 

A post-mortem examination found Mr Hughes had died as a result of multiple serious injuries.

Alan Jaf, 51, Khalil Awla, 48, Erland Spahiu, 33, Curtis Balbas, 30, and Dean Smeaton O’Neill-Davey, 29, were all charged with conspiracy to murder at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Saturday morning.

All five men were remanded in custody until their next hearing at Manchester Crown Court on Friday, April 8.

The body of Christopher Hughes, 37, was discovered by a dogwalker near to the M58 in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, on the morning of Tuesday, February 22

The body of Christopher Hughes, 37, was discovered by a dogwalker near to the M58 in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, on the morning of Tuesday, February 22

Mr Hughes was last seen alive in the Wigan area at around 4pm on February 18 – four days before he was found dead in a ditch near to the M58. 

One member of the public reported seeing a man being forced into the back of a vehicle in the Worsley Hall area of Wigan that same day.  

Mr Hughes’ body was eventually found on February 22 by a shocked passer-by. 

Alan Jaf, 51, Khalil Awla, 48, Erland Spahiu, 33, Curtis Balbas, 30, and Dean Smeaton O'Neill-Davey, 29, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and will appear at Manchester Crown Court (above) on Friday, April 8.

Alan Jaf, 51, Khalil Awla, 48, Erland Spahiu, 33, Curtis Balbas, 30, and Dean Smeaton O’Neill-Davey, 29, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and will appear at Manchester Crown Court (above) on Friday, April 8.

Tributes poured in for the father as news of his passing broke, with his mother, Susan saying their family was ‘heartbroken at the loss of their loving son, father, brother and uncle’.

She added: ‘He will leave a part in the family that can never be filled.’

Speaking after he had been killed, police described the incident surrounding Mr Hughes’ death as a ‘frenzied attack’.

Detective Chief Inspector Carl Jones, of Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team, said: ‘Our thoughts are with Christopher’s loved ones at this time.

‘Specially trained colleagues are supporting them while the investigation team works to establish the full circumstances surrounding the frenzied attack which resulted in his death.  

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.