Car dealer was shot nine times

A LIVERSEDGE car dealer was gunned down in Belgium, an inquest heard. Bradford Coroner's Court heard how divorced Anthony Edward Smith, 42, formerly of Hightown, was shot nine times on August 11, 2008.

Recording a verdict of unlawful killing, Coroner Roger Whittaker said Mr Smith's body was found in a suburb of Antwerp, beside a hire car.

A 9mm calibre weapon had been used to kill him – cartridge shells were found at the scene. An x-ray examination of his body also revealed evidence of bird shot pellets having been fired at him.

Det Sgt Andrew Watts, formerly of West Yorkshire's homicide and murder enquiry team, told the inquest he had been liaising with police in Antwerp and carrying out enquiries they thought appropriate in the UK.

Mr Whittaker said: "It's clear from the post mortem report (by Professor Werner Jacobs] that he had been shot nine times in all. At the moment, sadly, there appears to be no leads that would allow a prosecution to take place."

Mr Watts added: "There have been some frustrations with other police forces across Europe though some of these enquiries have been more successful recently."

Mr Whittaker said: "I am sure beyond reasonable doubt that Anthony Edward Smith was murdered. I would normally have adjourned the case pending the conclusion of a criminal trial but it is not the same where there is a death abroad.

"There is sufficient evidence to confirm that Anthony Edward Smith was the subject of unlawful killing. If there is sufficient new evidence I could apply to a court for a new inquest."

It is understood Mr Smith still has relatives in Cleckheaton.