Jealous husband who murdered Sheffield doctor over affair could be free in three years

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He could be walking the streets again in three years

A jealous husband who murdered his wife’s lover - a Sheffield doctor - could be freed from prison in just three years.

Murder victim Dr Colin ShawcrossMurder victim Dr Colin Shawcross
Murder victim Dr Colin Shawcross

Andrew Hill, then aged 49, was ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years in custody when he was jailed in 2010 after being found guilty of murder after a trial.

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Hill, who denied the charge throughout his trial and has maintained his innocence from behind bars, was convicted after jurors heard how he bludgeoned his love rival to death with a pickaxe handle in a jealous rage.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how Dr Colin Shawcross was killed after he embarked upon a relationship with Hill’s wife, who was a nurse and had met the doctor when they both worked together at Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

Andrew Hill was found guilty of murderAndrew Hill was found guilty of murder
Andrew Hill was found guilty of murder

Dr Shawcross, who was living in Aston at the time of his death, was confronted by Hill at his home and fatally attacked, it was claimed.

Jurors were then told that Hill put the doctor’s body into the boot of a car and drove to woods in nearby Harthill, digging a five-foot deep grave.

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Hill was arrested almost immediately after Dr Shawcross was reported missing and was later charged with murder, despite a body not being found for five months.

Police searched Aston Ponds for the body of Dr Colin ShawcrossPolice searched Aston Ponds for the body of Dr Colin Shawcross
Police searched Aston Ponds for the body of Dr Colin Shawcross

He claimed to have hired Irish "hardmen" to carry out an attack, but denied knowledge of a murder or where the body was concealed.

Jailing him, Mr Justice Wilkie told Hill he had acted in a "devious, vengeful, cowardly and unmanly way" over the affair.

Hill gasped and clung to the glass screen of the dock as he was being sentenced. When the judge described his story of hired hardmen as "utter fabrication," Hill shouted: "It wasn't sir".

Dr Shawcross was a father-of-three.

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Det Supt Mick Mason, who led the inquiry into the death said: "It was a vicious attack and Hill gave us no help at all at any stage."

Combining good old fashioned policing with the latest in science and technology at the time proved the key to cracking the most difficult of crimes – a murder without a body.

It was five months before Dr Colin Shawcross’ remains were discovered after he was reported missing – finally proving the police theory he had been battered to death.

Until that turning point in the investigation there had been no other option but for detectives to build up a comprehensive file of evidence to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the doctor had died, despite there beng no actual proof.

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It involved detectives contacting every hospital and dental surgery in the country to confirm nobody of the doctor’s name had been treated or registered as a new patient since he disappeared.

The team also contacted every supplier of gas, water, electricity and satellite and cable TV to prove the doctor had not registered as a new customer in another part of the country.

Every bank and mobile phone provider also had to be spoken to.

Ports and airports were also contacted to ensure he had not tried to leave the country.

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It was a task involving hundreds of separate enquiries to prove the doctor could not possibly still be alive.

Forensic experts who examined the doctor’s house, and a pathologist, said it would have been impossible for someone to have lost so much blood to have survived without receiving urgent medical attention.

Six weeks after being jailed over the murder, Hill wrote to The Star from prison.

He said: “I have not killed anybody. I will never come to terms with having been found guilty of murder.”

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The dad-of-one maintained his version of events - that he had hired two hardmen merely to scare off Dr Shawcross.

“I fully accept being involved to some degree. But I never anticipated the horrendous outcome. The truth is I never gave any thought to what these two men could have done. All I asked of them was to frighten Colin away,” he said.

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