Victim's Tragic Fight For Life

PUBLISHED: 12:44 09 February 2006 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 May 2010

SHAUN HILTON

SHAUN HILTON

NURSING assistant Shaun Hilton strangled his girlfriend at his Soham home before dumping her body at a disused airfield, a court has heard. Kim Fuller fought for her life as Hilton surprised her from behind, locking an arm round her throat and placing a h

KIM FULLER

NURSING assistant Shaun Hilton strangled his girlfriend at his Soham home before dumping her body at a disused airfield, a court has heard.

Kim Fuller fought for her life as Hilton surprised her from behind, locking an arm round her throat and placing a hand over her mouth and nose, Cambridge Crown Court was told.

Just days earlier he had punched the mother-of-two and tried to throttle her during a row.

Described as a "jealous and angry" man, the court heard he would fly into a rage because he thought the pretty 34-year-old divorcee was flirting with other men.

But, while there was no suggestion the Nationwide Building Society worker had been seeing anyone else, Hilton had a secret relationship with another woman with whom he planned to move in with.

Married three times, Hilton had a history of domestic violence, regularly having beaten one wife and trying to strangle the six-year-old daughter of another, the jury heard.

He is a "violent, aggressive man whose anger causes him to take out his feelings on the women who are with him at the time," said Tim Barnes, prosecuting.

Ms Fuller's body was found at Langham airfield in Norfolk on March 6 last year, three days after she agreed to a meeting with Hilton at his home.

Mr Barnes told the court that Ms Fuller had got engaged and moved in with Hilton after the pair met through a dating agency in January 2004.

He said cracks in the relationship began to emerge after Hilton became jealous of her texting and speaking to male friends.

The court heard that a few days before her death, Ms Fuller told her mother and stepfather that Hilton had tried to kill her.

She moved back in with them in Mildenhall after describing how Hilton had put his hands round her throat, knocked her to the bed and punched her in the face.

"She was scared of Mr Hilton and said to her mother she didn't want to live the rest of her life looking over her shoulder," Mr Barnes said.

But Hilton bombarded Ms Fuller with telephone calls and she eventually agreed to meet him at his house on March 3, last year.

The alarm was raised when she did not return home and phone records revealed that her mobile had been used in Norfolk, the court heard.

Mr Barnes said Hilton strangled Ms Fuller before driving her body to the remote spot and dumping it. Hilton denies murdering her but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

"Nobody else was in the house apart from the defendant and Kim Fuller," he told the jury. "Only he knows how he killed her and why he killed her."

He suggested that Hilton may have become jealous after seeing a text message from a friend, Keith de Brissac Bernard, sent on the day of her death.

Hilton used her mobile phone to text sexually explicit messages to Mr Bernard and asked for his address.

When police went to Hilton's house they found no signs of any struggle, the court heard.

"The Crown's case is that Kim Fuller must have been taken wholly unaware when she was attacked and quite literally had the life choked out of her," said Mr Barnes.

Her injuries were consistent with having an arm locked around her throat and a hand placed over her nose and mouth, the court heard.

The pathologist found Kim had torn muscles in her ribcage indicating that she had been fighting for her life as Hilton asphyxiated her.

Hilton was arrested in St Ives in Cornwall on March 5 and initially denied having anything to do with his girlfriend's disappearance.

After the body was found he claimed he had seen her kissing another man in the house after he left, Mr Barnes said.

The trial continues.

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