1. ITV Report

Father to be sentenced for murder of eight-year-old daughter

William Billingham was found guilty of murder. Credit: West Midlands Police

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.

Mylee Billingham was stabbed to death Credit: West Midlands Police

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.

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.

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

CCTV image showing William Billingham and his daughter Mylee. Credit: West Midlands Police

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.”

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

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.