Tuesday 22 October 2019

Father to be sentenced for murdering daughter (8) in 'revenge' against ex after she began same-sex relationship

Mylee Billingham
Photo credit: West Midlands Police/PA Wire
Mylee Billingham Photo credit: West Midlands Police/PA Wire
Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of William Billingham who has been found guilty of murder after stabbing his eight-year-old daughter through the chest in an apparent act of revenge against his ex-partner. West Midlands Police/PA Wire
Still from handout CCTV footage issued by West Midlands Police showing William Billingham and his daughter Mylee visiting a Costcutter store about two hours before she suffered a fatal stab wound. West Midlands Police/PA Wire
File photo dated 24/04/18 of Mylee Billingham's mother Tracey Taundry holding a doll as she arrived at the funeral of the eight-year-old stabbing victim at St James' Church, Walsall.Aaron Chown/PA Wire
File photo dated 31/01/18 of floral tributes outside the property in Brownhills, near Walsall, where eight-year-old Mylee Billingham was found with fatal knife wounds. Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A father is due to be sentenced for murdering his eight-year-old daughter moments after dragging her away from her mother into his home.

William Billingham, 55, stabbed Mylee Billingham once in the chest with severe force before causing himself stomach wounds as police arrived at his bungalow in Brownhills, near Walsall, in January.

Prosecutors alleged that Billingham acted out of a desire for "revenge" against his ex-partner, Tracey Taundry, after she began a same-sex relationship.

Jurors deliberated for around 80 minutes on Monday before unanimously convicting Billingham of murder and a separate charge of making a threat to kill 34-year-old Miss Taundry.

Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of William Billingham who has been found guilty of murder after stabbing his eight-year-old daughter through the chest in an apparent act of revenge against his ex-partner. West Midlands Police/PA Wire
Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of William Billingham who has been found guilty of murder after stabbing his eight-year-old daughter through the chest in an apparent act of revenge against his ex-partner. West Midlands Police/PA Wire

A nine-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court was told Mylee was pulled by her coat into her father's bungalow in Valley View, Brownhills, shortly after he held a knife at the neck of her mother.

The unemployed factory worker opted not to give evidence, claiming he had no memory of stabbing Mylee through the chest, and was guilty of the lesser offence of manslaughter due to depression.

CCTV footage showing William Billingham and his daughter Mylee visiting a Costcutter store about two hours before she suffered a fatal stab wound
Photo credit: West Midlands Police/PA Wire
CCTV footage showing William Billingham and his daughter Mylee visiting a Costcutter store about two hours before she suffered a fatal stab wound Photo credit: West Midlands Police/PA Wire

But prosecutors argued that father-of-six Billingham "turned his anger" on Mylee to spite Miss Taundry.

Opening the case at the start of the trial, prosecutor Karim Khalil QC said of the killing: "It was swift, deliberate, clinical, brutal. It was not some manic unfocused assault.

Still from handout CCTV footage issued by West Midlands Police showing William Billingham and his daughter Mylee visiting a Costcutter store about two hours before she suffered a fatal stab wound. West Midlands Police/PA Wire
Still from handout CCTV footage issued by West Midlands Police showing William Billingham and his daughter Mylee visiting a Costcutter store about two hours before she suffered a fatal stab wound. West Midlands Police/PA Wire

"This was no accident and it was not a slight injury - it was a deep, violent thrust of a lethal weapon into the most vulnerable part of his young daughter's body."

The jurors who convicted Billingham were not told he had cut his wrists in his cell - using razor blades - part-way through his trial.

File photo dated 24/04/18 of Mylee Billingham's mother Tracey Taundry holding a doll as she arrived at the funeral of the eight-year-old stabbing victim at St James' Church, Walsall.Aaron Chown/PA Wire
File photo dated 24/04/18 of Mylee Billingham's mother Tracey Taundry holding a doll as she arrived at the funeral of the eight-year-old stabbing victim at St James' Church, Walsall.Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Billingham underwent surgery after the apparent attempt to end his own life in the early hours of September 21 - a day after his trial was shown CCTV footage of his daughter in a shop on the night he killed her.

Judge Paul Farrer QC will pass sentence on Billingham, who faces a mandatory life term, on Tuesday.

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