Woman Accused of Plotting Murder Looked Up Victim’s Home Online, Trial Hears

A woman accused of assisting in the alleged murder of a man she had met on Tinder claimed that she looked up details of his home online out of curiosity, according to a trial. Rachel Fulstow, who is currently being questioned in court about the killing of electrician Liam Smith, stated that she had a date with him in 2019, during which she alleges that they had non-consensual sexual relations in a hotel. Fulstow did not report the incident to the police, but she claims that her new partner, Michael Hillier, reacted with anger upon hearing about it.

Hillier has admitted to killing Liam Smith, who was shot and then doused in acid outside his home in Wigan in November 2020. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murder. Fulstow, on the other hand, denies murder, manslaughter, and perverting the course of justice. The court learned that prior to the murder, Fulstow, who used to work for a property company, had searched for the name of Smith’s street online. When questioned about this, she explained that she was simply being nosy and looking at various properties.

Fulstow was also asked about other internet searches, including “electrician Wigan,” to which she stated that Hillier often brought up the incident during their date with Smith. The prosecutor presented further queries, such as “how long does it take for a car to burn” and “do speed cameras have ANPR,” but Fulstow claimed not to remember the reasons behind them. She denied that she was actively encouraging Hillier’s actions.

Fulstow admitted to lying in her interview with the police, explaining that she was fearful of the consequences and felt paralyzed when it came to confessing what she knew. She stated that Hillier had told her not to reveal anything, using words like “grass” and “snitch.” She made the decision to protect herself and her family by staying silent.

The trial of Rachel Fulstow, who resides in York, and Michael Hillier, who resides in Sheffield, is ongoing. Fulstow has pleaded not guilty to all charges, while Hillier has admitted to manslaughter but denies murder.