Liam Smith family pay tribute to Wigan dad after lovers found guilty of his murder

The family of a murdered father-of-two have paid tribute to him as “the best dad ever”.
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Liam Smith, 38, was shot in the face and then had acid poured over him outside his home in Shevington on 24 November 2022.

Rachel Fulstow, 37, from York, and Michael Hillier, 39, from Sheffield, were found guilty of his "brutal and cold-blooded murder" after a trial at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court.

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Yesterday (Thursday, August 24), the pair were handed life sentences with minimum terms of more than 30 years.

Liam Smith, 38, was shot in the face and then had acid poured over him outside his home in Shevington, Wigan on 24 November 2022. (Picture by Greater Manchester Police)Liam Smith, 38, was shot in the face and then had acid poured over him outside his home in Shevington, Wigan on 24 November 2022. (Picture by Greater Manchester Police)
Liam Smith, 38, was shot in the face and then had acid poured over him outside his home in Shevington, Wigan on 24 November 2022. (Picture by Greater Manchester Police)

Detective Inspector Lee Shaw of GMP's Major Incident Team, read out a statement following the conclusion of court which was prepared by Liam's family.

In a moving tribute to Liam, his family said: "Liam was more than just a family member to us, he was our rock, OUR Liam.

"He had the biggest and most kind-hearted soul and would literally do anything for anyone.

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"But we are always asking ourselves why did this happen to Liam? Why do his two boys now have to live with the knowledge that their loving father was taken away from them in the most barbaric of circumstances?

Rachel Fulstow, 37, from York, and Michael Hillier, 39, from Sheffield, were found guilty of his "brutal and cold-blooded murder" after a trial at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court. The pair were given life sentences with minimum terms of more than 30 years. (Picture by Greater Manchester Police)Rachel Fulstow, 37, from York, and Michael Hillier, 39, from Sheffield, were found guilty of his "brutal and cold-blooded murder" after a trial at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court. The pair were given life sentences with minimum terms of more than 30 years. (Picture by Greater Manchester Police)
Rachel Fulstow, 37, from York, and Michael Hillier, 39, from Sheffield, were found guilty of his "brutal and cold-blooded murder" after a trial at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court. The pair were given life sentences with minimum terms of more than 30 years. (Picture by Greater Manchester Police)

"Liam’s two boys were his biggest legacy. He was genuinely the best dad ever and everything he did in life was for his two boys.

"Liam cannot watch his two beautiful children grow up and experience their own life milestones - to see them as adults and to be a grandad. He would have been the best grandad ever, spoiling his grandkids absolutely rotten.

"Liam will never get to do the things that fathers and sons should do – taking them off to college, taking them for their first legal pint whilst watching them both become adults.

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"His name has been tainted throughout this trial – and that wasn’t him, it is not our Liam. He has been denied the chance to publicly clear his name.

"Liam’s life wasn’t the only one that was destroyed that night. Everyone who knew and loved Liam have been left completely heartbroken, devastated and traumatised by the events that happened on the 24 November.

"It has been a living nightmare for us all – something which we would never wish on any other family.”

"Unless your loved one has been murdered, you will never understand the magnitude of our feelings. Other humans have taken his life, other humans are the cause of this loss and pain and we will never get over this."