A father-of-six has been found guilty of murdering his eight-year-old daughter Mylee and making a threat to kill his ex-partner.
A jury at Birmingham Crown Court convicted William Billingham of killing his daughter at his bungalow near Walsall, West Midlands, on January 20 this year.
The 55-year-old, who denied murder, used a kitchen knife to kill Mylee after dragging her by the coat into his bungalow, moments after terrorizing his ex, Tracey Taundry, holding the blade to her neck. Taundry, 34, is Mylee’s mother.
The court heard how Miss Taundry dialled the emergency line from outside Billingham’s house telling operators to hurry as Mylee was screaming “stop it daddy”.
Jurors deliberated for around 80 minutes before unanimously convicting Billingham of murder.
He was also convicted on a separate charge of making a threat to kill Tracy Taundry. He will be sentenced Oct 2.
However, the jurors who convicted William Billingham were not told that part way through his trial, he had slashed his wrists while in custody – using razor blades
The mirror reports that 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 Mylee in a shop on the night he killed her.
The former leather industry worker looked at the floor and covered his eyes with his hands as the two-minute video was shown to jurors on the third day of his trial.
The father-of-six then failed to appear in court until the following week – when jurors were told to disregard the bandages on his lower arms, and given no details of how he came by his injuries.
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 Billingham “turned his anger” on Mylee to spite Taundry after she began a same-sex relationship.
They believe he had grown resentful of 34-year-old Tracey’s relationship with her new partner Lindsey Andrews and feared she would stop him seeing his children.
Billingham waited for Tracey to come and collect Mylee from his home after a visit, where he armed himself with a kitchen knife.
As the youngster left his house, her dad her back indoors by her hood as she screamed “Mummy, Mummy” and “Please Daddy, no Daddy, stop it”.
Crazed Billingham then “violently” thrust the blade Mylee’s chest in a “swift, deliberate and brutal” manner as a “final act of revenge” against his ex.
Tracey meanwhile desperately tried to bang the door down as she screamed for help while her daughter was stabbed with such force the knife penetrated her entire body.
Just 15 minutes earlier Billingham had posted a photo on Facebook showing his smiling daughter eating pizza on his bed.
Taundry gave harrowing testimony telling of how Mylee screamed ‘Mummy, Mummy’ and ‘Please Daddy, no Daddy, stop it’ as she was hauled inside her dad’s bungalow.
Chilling footage from earlier in the day was also played to the jury showing Mylee laughing and joking with her dad in a shop just two hours before he killed her.
But later on Billingham flew into a rage and threatened to kill Tracey telling her “I’m going to slice your neck off you dirty lesbian” – before stabbing Mylee.
Tracey watched on in horror as Mylee was dragged to her death before she frantically called 999 and told operators: “He’s got my baby.”
The court heard how Billingham had placed his hand over crying Mylee’s mouth as she tried to defend herself before he stabbed her “straight through” her body.
A police officer wept in the witness box as she described to jurors finding Mylee lying in a pool of blood still in her pyjamas with her father on top of her.
Officers and paramedics performed CPR on the youngster who was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospitals where she was pronounced dead at 11.30pm.
Last month Billingham went on trial at Birmingham Crown Court accused of murder, which he denied on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
He had 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.”
He admitted to officers he stabbed his daughter to death but claimed he could not remember doing so.
But his version of events was rejected by the jury and he was convicted this afternoon in front of relatives who called out “yes” from the public gallery as the guilty verdicts came back.
Following the verdict, it was then revealed how Billingham tried to take his own life midway through the trial by slashing bothh his wrists with razor blades in his cell.
The court was told how he was rushed to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he underwent surgery after attempting to kill himself on September 21.
He reappeared in the dock after several days in hospital with his arms covered in bandages.
On the day of the incident final footage caught by CCTV showed the young victim, Mylee Billingham, out shopping for toys with dad William Billingham
A senior detective has described Billingham’s decision to stab his daughter in an apparent attempt to take revenge on her mother the most selfish act imaginable.
Detective Inspector Jim Colclough, of the West Midlands Police homicide unit, believes Billingham was unhappy with Ms Taundry’s new relationship, despite claiming he had no problems with it.
Speaking after Billingham was convicted of murder, Mr Colclough said the 55-year-old had shown no remorse when interviewed – and only sought to help himself as Mylee lay dying.
The killer’s trial was told that officers kicked a knife away from near Billingham’s hands, moving it underneath a rug, as they tried to treat him and his daughter.
During their efforts, Billingham kicked out at one officer, ignored repeated requests for information about what had happened to Mylee, and only related information about his own breathing problems.
Insp. Colclough said: “The initial attending police officers demonstrated real bravery in going into the premises, where the information was that there was a man armed with a kitchen knife.
“They were confronted by extremely upsetting scenes (with Mylee lying injured under her father] and everybody worked together tirelessly trying to save her.
“The first responders were an absolute credit to their respective services.”
Commenting on the murder, Colclough said: “It’s the most selfish act you can think of. It is the greatest breach of trust that you can imagine as a father.
“Mylee was an eight-year-old girl. She had every reason to believe that Billingham was the most trusted person in the world. To carry out an act and actually take Mylee’s life … it’s terrible.”
Authorities believe the killing was motivated by fear and spite: “Tracey had embarked on a new relationship. This is a relationship she was open and honest about.
“It’s our view that actually Billingham was not as happy with that situation as he’d made out. Whether that be through jealousy … he decided on that evening to take actions into his own hands.”
The trial was told that Taundry was outside Billingham’s address for a number of minutes, not knowing what was taking place inside.
Colclough said: “The  call is a terrible thing to listen to. Tracey was beside herself with concern.
“Officers were in the address for tens of minutes working on Mylee and at that time Tracey was unaware as to how serious the events were that had unfolded inside that address.”
Taundry had taken great comfort from support from the Brownhills community, but she and other family members were absolutely devastated by Mylee’s death, the officer said.
He added: “She will never heal from this situation. Mylee will always be missing. She will always be missing a daughter and Mylee’s sisters will always be missing a sister.”