Liam Smith murder trial: Sheffield suspect Michael Hillier removed from court after outburst

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A murder suspect from Sheffield was removed from court after an outburst as the judge in the case summed up the evidence

A Sheffield man accused of murdering a father-of-two who was shot and attacked with acid was removed from court after interrupting the judge's summing up.

The jury in the trial of Michael Hillier and Rachel Fulstow, both accused of the murder of Liam Smith, 38, in Wigan, Greater Manchester, retired to consider their verdicts shortly before 1pm yesterday.

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Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester has heard Mr Smith, an electrician, went on a date with Fulstow, 37, in 2019, and she later claimed they had "non-consensual sex" at a hotel.

Michael Hillier, from Sheffield, is accused of murdering Liam Smith. Hillier's girlfriend at the time, Rachel Fulstow, is also accused of murderMichael Hillier, from Sheffield, is accused of murdering Liam Smith. Hillier's girlfriend at the time, Rachel Fulstow, is also accused of murder
Michael Hillier, from Sheffield, is accused of murdering Liam Smith. Hillier's girlfriend at the time, Rachel Fulstow, is also accused of murder | National World

Fulstow's boyfriend at the time, Hillier, 39, who has admitted manslaughter but denies murder, claims Fulstow told him Smith had raped her so they they plotted together to attack him.

Summing up the case on Tuesday morning, Judge Maurice Greene reminded the jury of Fulstow's evidence about sex with Mr Smith, which she said she did not consider to be rape.

Speaking from the dock, Hillier said: "It's not sex, it's rape. What sort of message does that send out? Sex is consensual, rape isn't."

He was removed from the dock by security officers.

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Before the jury was sent out to consider its verdict, Louise Blackwell, defending Hillier, said he apologised.

Judge Greene replied: "Emotions run high, as I've already mentioned."

Earlier, he told the five men and five women on the jury they did "not really need to decide" what happened when Mr Smith met Fulstow.

He said: "As to what really happened on that night we will probably never know and it probably doesn't matter."

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The jury has heard claims Mr Smith was lured out of his home on Kilburn Drive, Shevington, on November 24 last year by Hillier, who shot him in the face before pouring acid over him.

Fulstow, of Andrew Drive, York, has told the court she did not know her then boyfriend was going to shoot Mr Smith.

She denies murder and a charge of perverting the course of justice.

The jury is continue its deliberations today.