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Liversedge man 'unlawfully killed' rules coroner
A car dealer from Liversedge, found dead with gunshot wounds in Belgium, was unlawfully killed, a coroner has ruled.
Anthony Edward Smith, 41, was shot nine times with two firearms, the Bradford inquest heard yesterday.
Mr Smith, who formerly lived in Hightown, was found dead beside a hire car in a suburb of Antwerp in Augus,t 2008.
The inquest heard that Professor Werner Jacobs, a pathologist at Antwerp University Hospital, carried out a post-mortem examination and found ballistic injuries to his neck and body. There was an entry wound to the right side of the neck. Prof Jacobs found no self-defence injuries.
There were a total of 13 ballistic injuries, from a 9mm calibre weapon and another firearm using bird shot.
The death was as a consequence of ballistic wounds, especially to the abdomen and thorax.
Detective Sergeant Andrew Watts, formerly of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, told the inquest he had been liaising with police in Antwerp and carrying out inquiries they thought appropriate in the UK.
He said one person had been arrested in Belgium but released without charge. Nobody had been charged with an offence relating to Mr Smith’s death. No weapon had been found.
Det Sgt Watts said Mr Smith’s body had been found early in the morning at the side of a hired Opel Astra. He had been shot a total of nine times.
He said there were no leads at the moment to allow a prosecution to take place and there had been some frustrations in relation to liaison with other forces across Europe. But he said those inquiries were now more successful than they had been and it was still a live inquiry which was being reviewed every three months.
West Yorkshire Coroner Roger Whittaker said the cause of Mr Smith’s death was gunshot wounds. He recorded that he had been unlawfully killed.
Mr Whittaker said if there was new evidence to change the situation he could apply to the court for a new inquest to be held.
It is understood Mr Smith had been living abroad and had a number of European residences. He was separated from his wife and still has relatives in Cleckheaton.