William Billingham jailed for 27 years for murder of daughter Mylee, 8, to spite her mother who turned lesbian

A father has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his eight-year-old daughter in rage after finding out her mother had a new girlfriend.

William Billingham was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court and will serve a minimum term of 27 years for stabbing Mylee Billingham, 8, to death.

Billingham, who will be aged 82 before his release from prison can even be considered by the Parole Board, stared at the floor and shook his head as he was sentenced.

Judge Paul Farrer QC said:

This offence was driven by jealousy and anger. You turned that anger upon Mylee and killed her in order to cause pain to her mother. As such, this was an act of revenge.

Alternately, this was the brutal, cowardly, killing of a defenceless and much-loved child who had her whole life ahead of her.

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 while holding a knife to her neck on the night of the murder.
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 her mother, 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.

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.
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