In a truly gruesome tale, a drug dealer by the name of Michael Hillier and his former girlfriend, Rachel Fulstow, have been convicted for the murder of Liam Smith. The shocking crime involved Smith being shot in the face and then having acid poured onto his body. The motive behind this brutal act can be traced back to Fulstow’s claim that Smith had raped her after a Tinder date. This article takes a closer look at the details of this heinous crime and the subsequent trial that unfolded.
Hillier meticulously planned the assault on Smith over a period of 10 months. He tracked Smith’s movements and waited outside his home in Wigan for nearly 10 hours before launching the attack. Fulstow, his then girlfriend, actively participated in the plot. Both Hillier and Fulstow were found guilty of murder, with Hillier being sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 33 years, and Fulstow facing life behind bars with a minimum term of 30 years. The judge described the murder as “brutal and cold-blooded,” accusing the couple of acting as “judge, jury, and executioner.”
What is particularly chilling is the fact that, just days after the murder, the couple went on a two-week vacation to Jamaica. They showed no signs of remorse and proceeded with their lives as if nothing happened. However, their actions soon caught up with them. Upon their return, Hillier was arrested, while Fulstow was initially treated merely as a witness. However, it was later discovered that she had lied during police interviews, leading to her arrest as a suspect.
During the trial, it was revealed that Fulstow had conducted extensive online research into Smith’s electrical company and the Mitsubishi Shogun cars, which happened to be the make of car used by Hillier during the murder. She also checked the weather in Wigan on the morning of the killing, suggesting her involvement in the planning of the attack. These damning pieces of evidence further solidified the case against both defendants.
The family of Liam Smith breathed a sigh of relief as the jury unanimously found both defendants guilty of murder. The courtroom erupted with emotion as the verdict was announced, with Mr. Smith’s family expressing their gratitude for justice being served. The brutal nature of the crime and the lack of remorse displayed by the defendants undoubtedly weighed heavily on the jury’s decision.
Throughout the trial, Hillier and Fulstow turned on each other, presenting conflicting accounts and different versions of events. Fulstow claimed that she had met Smith on a date in York in 2019, where they engaged in what she referred to as “non-consensual sex.” However, she did not report it as rape and continued to see Smith the following day for lunch. Fulstow then began dating Hillier in 2021 and acknowledged that he was verbally abusive and unpredictable. Hillier, on the other hand, admitted to being a drug dealer and confessed to planning the attack on Smith with Fulstow. He claimed that she had informed him of a graphic rape she had suffered at the hands of Smith, leading them both to seek vigilante justice.
Fulstow’s fear of reporting the attack to the authorities was a central theme throughout the trial. She admitted to being terrified of her boyfriend, Hillier, which deterred her from seeking help. However, her inaction and her active participation in the planning of the attack ultimately placed her on the wrong side of the law. The court proceedings uncovered a web of lies and deceit, exposing the disturbing reality of the couple’s relationship and the extent to which they were willing to go in their pursuit of revenge.
The murder of Liam Smith stands as a chilling reminder of the depths to which human beings can sink. The calculated planning, the lack of remorse, and the betrayal between former lovers paint a picture of darkness and depravity. While justice was served in this case, it serves as a stark reminder of the need for vigilance in identifying and addressing domestic violence and the dangers of taking matters into one’s own hands.