Tinder Date Tragedy: Woman Denies Involvement in Shooting and Acid Attack
In a dramatic court hearing, a woman, Rachel Fulstow, aged 37, has pleaded not guilty to charges of being complicit in a plan to harm her Tinder date, Liam Smith, aged 38.
The incident involves a shooting and an acid attack.
The court, specifically the Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, heard that Fulstow and Smith had engaged in a one-night stand at a York hotel.
Denial of Murder and Shocking Revelation
Fulstow categorically denies any involvement in Mr. Smith’s murder.
She claims to have only become aware of his tragic fate after her boyfriend, Michael Hillier, aged 39, appeared at her residence following the fatal attack.
The court was informed that Mr. Smith was shot in the face and then doused with sulphuric acid while he lay mortally wounded.
Tragically, the father of two and an electrician from Wigan succumbed to his injuries on the spot on November 24, the previous year.
Fearful Silence and Alleged Involvement
Fulstow contends that she refrained from reporting to the police due to her fear of Hillier, who is described as a significant drug dealer.
Instead, she admitted to misleading detectives during their investigation into the incident.
Both Hillier and Fulstow have pleaded not guilty to murder charges, with Hillier admitting to manslaughter.
Additionally, Fulstow denies a charge of perverting the course of justice.
The Intriguing Evidence and Fulstow’s Responses
The prosecution presented details of searches purportedly made on Fulstow’s phone that suggested her complicity in the plot.
These searches included inquiries about electricians in Wigan, Mr. Smith’s firm, the type of car driven by Hillier, and inquiries about the duration it takes for a car to burn.
The prosecutor, Jason Pitter KC, suggested that these searches pointed towards her awareness of the plan.
Denials and Unsettling Queries
In response, Fulstow repeatedly denied any connection between these searches and her involvement in the plan to harm Mr. Smith.
She also refuted sending misleading text messages to Hillier, suggesting she was attempting to provide him with an alibi.
Despite the unsettling evidence, Fulstow asserted that none of her actions were connected to the tragic events.
Unsettling Timeline and Unanswered Questions
The trial further revealed that both defendants embarked on a vacation to Jamaica a mere six days after Mr. Smith’s demise.
However, upon their return, they discovered that detectives had arrested an individual connected to false number plates used on Hillier’s car.
Additional searches were noted, including terms like “premeditated” and “custodial.”
The prosecution implied that these searches indicated a growing sense of concern or panic on the defendants’ part.
The Motive Behind the Tragedy
The court heard that the attack on Mr. Smith stemmed from a past “one-night stand” between Fulstow and Smith at a York hotel in 2019.
This encounter had apparently incited anger in Fulstow’s subsequent boyfriend, Hillier.
Hillier had come to believe that the encounter was non-consensual, leading him to take drastic actions against Mr. Smith.
As the trial adjourns, the complex web of events and emotions surrounding this case leaves numerous questions unanswered.
The revelations, denials, and unfolding evidence paint a somber portrait of a tragic incident rooted in personal dynamics and alleged misconceptions.
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