A father who stabbed his eight-year-old daughter to death has been found guilty of her murder.
William Billingham, 55, knifed daughter Mylee through the chest moments after her mother Tracey Taundry, 34, Billingham’s ex-partner, came to his bungalow to pick her up on January 20.
The defendant, who had tried to take his own life while in a remand cell midway through the trial, remained impassive as the verdict was read out.
A restrained shout of “yes” could be heard from the packed public gallery which included Mylee’s mother Tracey Taundry.
Over the course of a nine-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court jurors heard father-of-six Billingham had flown into a jealous rage after Taundry started a new relationship with another woman.
When Taundry arranged to collect Mylee from his home in Valley View, Brownhills, Walsall, on 20 January 2018 Billingham walked their daughter up to the front door before pulling out a knife.
He dragged Mylee back into his home by the hood of her coat and stabbed her with a bladed knife as she cried out for her mother and screamed: “Please Daddy, no Daddy, stop it.”
The court had heard how Taundry stood outside Billinghham’s house in Valley View, Brownhills, Walsall, frantically calling 999 as Billingham set about killing his daughter inside.
Billingham, whose arms were in bandages after an attempt on his life midway through the trial, was also found guilty of making threats to kill Taundry after he held a knife to her throat and screamed: “I’m going to slice your neck off you dirty lesbian”.
A jury of eight women and four men took just over one hour to return a guilty verdict on both charges.
The court had heard he used a kitchen knife to stab the schoolgirl, affectionately known as Moo, after he argued with Taundry about her new relationship.
Billingham had moved out of the home he shared with Taundry a month earlier after finding “flirty” text messages on her phone, jurors were told.
He then became increasingly hostile when he found out she had a new lesbian partner and was said to have hacked into Taundry’s Facebook account to read her messages.
On another occasion he dressed in Taundry’s underwear and sent her a photo with the caption: “Your new knickers which I have broken in for your new girlfriend”.
Two days before the murder Billingham had asked to to have a bath at her home but she said no as Taundry’s partner had been at the property.
However, he later used a spare key to get into the property and the following day it was arranged that Billingham would pick Mylee from school.
They went to Ogley Hay Working Mens Club and spent the night at the home of one of the defendant’s elder daughters where they ordered a Chinese takeaway before going to bed.
But the next morning he plunged the blade into the chest of “defenceless” Mylee before threatening to kill his former partner, who fled the scene.
Prosecutor Karim Khalil QC had told the court the killing had been “swift, deliberate, clinical and brutal. It was not a manic unfocused assault. He knew precisely what he was doing.”
Emergency services were called to the property at around 9.15am and rushed the youngster to Birmingham Children’s hospital where she died.
The court heard how Billingham had struck Mylee once in the chest causing a 17cm deep wound puncturing her lung and main artery.
Billingham, an injection moulder, who did not give evidence during the trial, claimed he could not remember killing his daughter and could not explain what happened that night.
He told police he never meant to cause Mylee any harm and had wanted to “protect her from the internet” so she could “remain a child.”
His defence claimed Billingham had been suffering from moderate depression and could not form a rational judgement or exercise self control at the time of the murder.
As a result, they said, he should be found guilty of manslaughter rather than murder on the grounds that his responsibility was diminished.
But the jury rejected that suggestion.
Judge Paul Farrer QC is due to sentence Billingham tomorrow morning.
The jury were not told that Billingham tried to kill himself during the trial but the judge revealed that information to them after the verdicts had been delivered.
In the early hours of September 21, the night after Bilingham had seen CCTV of himself with Mylee on the day of her death, he cut himself with razor blades which were in his cell.
He was taken to Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham where he had an operation.
Afterwards, he attended court with bandages on both arms – but jurors were told not to speculate about why they were there.
Billingham’s brother Mark, is an instructor on Channel 4′s SAS: Who Dares Wins, who spent 27 years in the force.
He got an MBE for leading the mission in Iraq to rescue a Brit hostage and won the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery after capturing an IRA sniper by using himself as bait.
Mark, 53, who was the highest rank in the SAS - Warrant Officer Class 1 - was also a private bodyguard for Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise.