William Billingham guilty of murdering eight-year-old daughter Mylee with kitchen knife
Unemployed Factory worker William Billingham, 55, used a kitchen knife to kill his eight-year-old daughter Mylee Billingham as a revenge against his ex-wife turned after dragging her into his bungalow, moments after holding the blade to the neck of her mother, Tracey Taundry.
A trial at Birmingham crown court heard that Taundry dialled 999 from outside Billingham’s house in Brownhills, near Walsall, telling operators to hurry as Mylee was screaming: “Stop it, Daddy.”
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.
But prosecutors argued that Billingham “turned his anger” on Mylee to spite Miss Taundry after she began a same-sex relationship.
Jurors deliberated for around 80 minutes before unanimously convicting Billingham of murder and a separate charge of making a threat to kill 34-year-old 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.
‘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.’
Billingham was eventually brought back to court on Tuesday 25 September, arriving in a taxi with a police escort as his wounds meant he could not be handcuffed or placed in a prison van.
After Billingham was assessed by a psychiatrist as being fit to instruct his legal team, the trial continued.
Billingham, who faces a mandatory life sentence, showed no emotion as the verdict was read out and stared directly at the floor.
Detective Inspector Jim Colclough said, “Sadly Billingham has provided little by way of an explanation for what he did throughout. I cannot imagine how painful and difficult this has been for Tracey and her family to comprehend. After having to try and come to terms with their loss, Billingham has put them through the ordeal of a very public trial.
I hope today’s verdict offers some sense of justice which may in time provide some comfort. However I know they will never come to terms with what has happened. A young girl, who had her whole life ahead of her, has been cruelly taken by someone who she loved and trusted. This is a despicable act on a defenceless child.’