Family's appeal over 2006 murder on Merseyside

James Stanton
Image caption James Stanton's family say they can't move forward until they get closure

The family of a man who was shot dead at his vehicle showroom on Merseyside four years ago have appealed to anyone with information to come forward.

James Stanton, 58, was killed by men who burst into Aintree Commercial Vehicles in Thornton on 24 July 2006.

The grandfather-of-nine's widow Jean said she did not understand how the killers had not been caught when he was shot in a busy road at 1800 BST.

She said: "I'd ask anybody who can help the police to call them straight away."

"Myself and my family can't go forward until we have closure," Mrs Stanton added.

Detectives believe two men could be responsible for the murder and that they left the scene in a blue Toyota Avensis car with registration DM53 MKK, a police spokesman said.

The car had been stolen from Sefton Street, Liverpool, on 25 May 2006, and was later found burnt out on Blindfoot Road, Rainford.

Pedestrians and motorists

Officers want to speak to anyone who may have seen it between 25 May and the day of the murder, and anyone who witnessed it being abandoned in Blindfoot Road.

Det Ch Insp Dave Brunskill, of Merseyside Police, said there were lots of pedestrians and motorists in the area at the time of the shooting and appealed to them to get in touch.

"In particular we would like to speak to a woman with children, who was stood near to the getaway vehicle when the offenders fled from the scene," he said.

"We would also like to speak to a man who was on a pedal bike, who indirectly contacted the investigation team, but has never directly come forward.

"This man clearly witnessed part of the incident and we believe he was on Ormskirk Road at the time of the shooting."

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