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Crime

Birmingham stabbings suspect named in court and charged with murder of 23-year-old near city’s Gay Village

Patrick Kelleher September 9, 2020
Birmingham stabbing Zephaniah McLeod

Investigators on the scene where the stabbings took place (OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty)

Police have named the man charged with the murder of a 23-year-old in a spate of stabbings in and around Birmingham’s Gay Village as Zephaniah McLeod.

McLeod was publicly identified while appearing via video link in Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (September 9) the BBC reports.

The 27-year-old was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning (September 7) and later charged with the murder of Jacob Billington, 23, as well as seven counts of attempted murder relating to a spree of stabbings around the city centre.

Billington, 23 – who died in the attack – was on a night out in Birmingham with school friends when he was stabbed in the neck in the early hours of Sunday morning (September 6).

West Midlands Police said a second 23-year-old man remains in critical condition in hospital following the stabbing, along with a 22-year-old woman who was stabbed on Hurst Street. Her condition is said to have stabilised but she remains critical.

A 30-year-old man is in a stable condition in hospital, while four other victims have been discharged.

The surviving victims were named as Dimitar Bachvarov, Migle Dolobauskaite, Thomas Glassey, Michael Callaghan, Shane Rowley, Rhys Cummings and Ryan Bowers during Wednesday’s court appearance.

McLeod, from Selly Oak, Birmingham, confirmed his personal details during the five minute court appearance but did not enter a plea. He has not applied for bail and will be remanded in custody.

Police in Birmingham declared a major incident in the early hours of Sunday morning as repots circulated that a man had gone on a stabbing rampage in parts of the city, including the Gay Village.

The first stabbing occurred at Constitution Hill at 12.30am, before the killer moved south, apparently attacking people at random.

Others were stabbed on Livery Street and Irving Street, before the killer attacked his last victim on Hurst Street, the centre of Birmingham’s Gay Village, at around 2.20am.

Police have not yet clarified whether any of the victims identified as LGBT+, however law enforcement authorities said on Monday that there was no evidence the stabbings were motivated by hatred of a protected class.

They also said the stabbings did not appear to be related to terrorism, gang violence or disorder.

The suspect will appear in Birmingham Crown Court for a second court date on Thursday (September 9).

More: Zephaniah McLeod

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