Nottingham Crown Court, SYNDICATED PHOTO
More than a month after the mysterious death of a 24-year-old woman in Nottingham, her alleged killer has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
Prosecutors allege that West Midlands Police officers shot and killed Paige Doherty on 11 March.
The girlfriend of a serving police officer, Hannah Smith, 24, has denied murdering her.
Her trial is due to start on 15 May.
On Tuesday Ms Smith appeared before Judge Jeremy Richardson QC at Nottingham Crown Court for a committal hearing.
‘Can you still see me?’
The charges against Ms Smith include that she unlawfully killed Paige Doherty and conspired to commit offences with Alan Stride, 22, another man arrested in March on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact of Ms Doherty’s murder.
Ms Smith is also accused of shooting and attempting to shoot the 26-year-old Constabularly Mark Gunn and four others – Kevin Kane, 26, William Nolan, 34, Michael Donnelly, 42, and Tyrone Corfield, 38.
At the time of her arrest, police say they were alerted by concerned members of the public after they saw Ms Smith driving a Vauxhall Corsa in Mapperley, Nottingham, shortly after Ms Doherty’s body was found in her vehicle.
CCTV footage was then played during the hearing, showing Ms Smith being breathalysed.
A witness, who is not being named, told the court that he saw Ms Smith in the back of a police van after she had returned from a cannabis farm in January.
The witness described seeing a smell of burning cannabis while Ms Smith was being interviewed.
“When you spoke to Hannah, you were on high alert,” he said.
“Her eyes were always darting around the van or back seat as she was trying to get a glimpse of what was going on.
“I did tell a policeman in the back of the van, looking down on us, that I thought she looked weird and that she wasn’t concentrating properly.”
When Mr Goddard asked him about that, he told Mr Goddard: “I said something like, ‘hmm something like that to look a bit odd’.
“That’s not a big deal really, just to get some kind of feeling as to what I saw.
“I knew it was either cannabis or some kind of drug because that’s what she was into anyway.”
Ms Doherty’s body was found in the boot of her silver Corsa in a wooded area off the A52 on 11 March.
The court was told that after Ms Smith had been arrested, she complained she was being “repeatedly tasered and shot at”.
The hearing was adjourned and Ms Smith was remanded in custody until her trial.