A York woman told police she did not know her boyfriend was going to shoot and pour acid on a man she had a one-night stand with, a murder trial heard.
Father-of-two Liam Smith, 38, was ‘lured out of his home and blasted at close range with a gun by Michael Hillier’.
Hillier then poured the corrosive liquid, probably sulphuric acid, on the face and body of his stricken victim, burning away his flesh, a jury at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester was told.
Mr Smith was left for dead in the street outside his house, with the chemicals still “fizzing” on his body when he was found shortly after the attack in the early evening of November 24 last year.
Mr Smith, an electrician from Wigan, Greater Manchester, had had a “brief liaison” with Hillier’s co-accused, former nail technician Rachel Fulstow, 37, with a one-night stand in a York hotel in 2019.
The next year she became the partner of Hillier, from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, who was not happy about the fling and was “led to believe she had been raped”, Jason Pitter KC, prosecuting, told the jury.
Both Fulstow, from Andrew Drive, York and Hillier, 39, from Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, deny murder.
Hillier has admitted manslaughter, Fulstow has pleaded not guilty to the same charge.
She also denies a single count of perverting the course of justice.
‘What happened, happened’
Fulstow was initially treated as a witness by police until she was arrested in February this year.
She was taken to Ashton Police Station, Greater Manchester, where a detective told her “things had changed” due to “inconsistencies and further developments” in the investigation.
Fulstow was told she was now under suspicion for joint enterprise murder by assisting or encouraging Hillier to kill Mr Smith, as a result of the sexual encounter a few years earlier.
During the police interview read to the jury, Fulstow told detectives: “I did not know Michael was planning or going to do it. What happened, happened.
“I told Michael about what happened, in essence because we were becoming more serious. It was non-consensual.
“It had happened two to three years before.
“Michael wanted me to go to the police, I did not want to at that stage, years later.
“He asked me what the guy was called but I didn’t know that much.”
Fulstow said she told Hillier that Mr Smith was from Wigan and had his own business, but he then went on to find out more information about him and she herself Googled him, “out of curiosity”.
Fulstow also claimed Hillier would be “verbally abusive” and “belittle” her during their relationship.
On one occasion after they had been out for a meal they returned to her house in York and Hillier began smashing her home up.
She said he was screaming, “What were you doing in a hotel room?”
She added: “He would go on and on and on about the Liam situation.
“He said he was going to confront him and knows where he lives.”
The trial continues.
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