Man jailed for murdering daughter in ‘revenge’ for ex-partner’s lesbian relationship
A man found guilty of murdering his eight-year-old daughter was sentenced to jail for a minimum 27 years on Tuesday (October 2).
William Billingham killed his daughter Mylee at his home neat Walsall on January 20 in an apparent act of revenge against the child’s mother, who had begun a relationship with a woman.
Birmingham Crown Court Judge Paul Farrer said the murder was an act of “revenge” which was “driven by jealousy and anger,” the BBC reported.
Billingham was also found guilty of threatening to kill Mylee’s mother, Tracey Taundry, while holding a knife to her neck. He was given a concurrent two-year sentence after 80 minutes of jury deliberation on the case on Monday (October 1).
Prosecutors told the court that the 55-year-old had “turned his anger” on the child to spite her mother.
Taundry told the court in September that she was picking up Mylee from Billingham’s home and was waiting near the front doorstep when he threatened to kill her with a knife.
“I started running backwards, away from the house … I slipped,” she said. Asked to describe where Mylee was during the confrontation, Taundry replied: “She was standing on the drain outside the front door, just to the side.”
She added: “She was crying, she was upset and she was shouting, ‘Mummy, stop it Daddy … Mummy.'”
Taundry then described how Billingham walked towards the child and dragged her back inside, shutting the front door. When the police arrived and entered the property, Mylee had been stabbed to death and Billingham presented an injury to his stomach, which was self-inflicted.
The man, who is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison, denied murder but claimed manslaughter due to depression. He refused to give evidence during the trial and claimed he had no memory of killing Mylee with a knife.
Judge Farrer told Billingham: “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.”
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Billingham’s lawyer Balraj Bhatia told the court his client’s real punishment is that he was still alive, mentioning that the man had tried to kill himself earlier this month.
“This court will punish him in terms of years. His punishment – to use his own words – is that he is still breathing. Your honour knows, during the course of this trial, that he tried to take his own life,” Bhatia said, quoted in the Press Association.
In a statement read in court by the prosecutor, Taudry described the actions of her former partner as “selfish and despicable.”
She wrote: “Mylee was brutally taken from us by a man who was supposed to protect and to care for her. Since this incident I have struggled to sleep. I have constant nightmares and I relive that terrible night over and over again.
“I regularly hear Mylee’s voice and immediately start to look for her. None of us will ever get over what has happened.”