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UK School teacher, 48, on trial after luring boyfriend, 42, to bed for sex, blindfolding him and stabbing him to death and burying body in her garden – Fiona Beal believed her beau was being unfaithful again

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Fiona Beal is accused of murdering Nicholas Billingham, 42, at her home home in Northampton, UK, in November 2021

Primary school teacher Beal, 48, thought her serial-cheat boyfriend was being unfaithful again lured him to bed for sex to unleash her murder plot

Beal blindfolded Billingham, then stabbed him to death before burying his body in the garden, court hears

Fiona Beal is accused of murdering Nicholas Billingham, 42, in November 2021

The Year 6 teacher believed Billingham had been cheating on her

Fiona Beal is accused of stabbing her partner Nicholas Billingham to death after luring him to bed for sex

A primary school teacher in Northamptonshire, in the UK’s East Midlands, a court heard, fatally stabbed her partner because she believed he was cheating on her, the Northampton Crown Court heard on Monday.
Fiona Beal, 48, allegedly lured younger partner Nicholas Billingham, 42, to bed for sex before killing him. She then dragged his body to her back garden and buried him.
Prosecutors told the court that Beal had been plotting the murder for weeks after Billingham ‘spat on her and threatened her during sex’, that was revealed by a journal found at her Lake District hideaway.
It detailed how the victim’s behavior allegedly fueled the killer’s ‘dark side’ – an alter ego she called Tulip22 who was ‘reckless, fearless and efficient’.
The court heard the school teacher killed and disposed of her partner between October 30 and November 10 last year, after calling in sick with Covid19.
Beal’s journal charts how she persuaded Billingham to wear an eye mask before she launched her knifed attack.
Forensic officers and specialist search teams, including a cadaver dog, were deployed to the suspect’s address before the discovery was made on March 11, 2022.
The body was discovered under carpet wrapped in a bedsheet, duvet and cable ties three-and-a-half months after Billingham, a builder, was last seen attending a business meeting.

The remains of Nicolas Billingham’s was discovered wrapped in a bedsheet, duvet and cable ties under carpet, three-and-a-half months after he was last seen attending a business meeting 

For motivation, Billingham had cheated on Beal with other women during their long-term relationship, prosecutor Steven Perian said.
‘Nicholas Billingham had left the defendant on a few occasions but always returned to her and she accepted him’, he said.
‘One of the women he slept with became pregnant and gave birth to his child.’
By the end of October 2021, Beal had resolved to kill her partner. ‘She believed he was cheating on her again’, the prosecutor said.
‘Instead of leaving him, she worked out a plan on how and when to kill him, where to conceal his body, how to cover up and explain his disappearance to others and to explain her own absence from work when she killed him.’
According to the prosecution, the murder likely happened on November 1 in their Northampton bedroom, which was then repainted afterwards.
Later that month, Beal returned to work following her supposed isolation for Covid19 and told her principal that Billingham had left her, Perian told the court.

Police forensics team remove Nicholas Billingham’s remains, found buried in the back garden of Fiona Beal’s home in Northampton

The court heard the teacher carried on working as normal, even going on a school trip to London. But just weeks after visiting the capital, Beal began repeatedly messaging the school to say she was ill.
Prompted by the messages, in March the concerned school principal contacted Beal’s mother, who revealed that her daughter had said that she was going away on a school residential trip. The principal then contacted the police to report her missing.
Cumbrian officers traced her to an address she had rented near Kendal, but Beal reassured an police officer that she just wanted some ‘peace and quiet’ and did not wish for her family to know her exact whereabouts.
The officer relayed that message to Beal’s mother, but three days later they returned to the lodge after Beal sent her family a message saying: ‘I’m so sorry. I love you all very much.’
Officers gained entry to the lodge and found what appeared to be a suicide note, before discovering Beal naked in the bath with superficial wounds to her wrists.
Beal was transported to the local hospital and detained under the Mental Health Act, jurors were told.
Northampton Crown Court was told police also recovered a notebook from the holiday lodge and found in it a ‘chilling account of how she had planned and killed someone but it did not contain the name of the person she had killed’, the prosecutor said.
The Cumbrian force notified colleagues in Northampton and officers were sent to search Beal’s address.
A cursory initial search of the property revealed nothing suspicious, but a second detailed search uncovered a bloody mattress and duvet in the basement, and ‘freshly-laid bark in the garden’.
Northamptonshire Police asked for Beal to be arrested on suspicion of murder. Billingham’s iPhone was then found at the holiday lodge during a search.
Jurors were read extracts of the notebook found at the holiday lodge, which referred to cult 90s film Thelma and Louise, starring Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon.
Beal wrote: ‘Everything changed last year. There’s a quote from Thelma and Louise that feels appropriate, Thelma: “You be sweet to them, especially your wife. My husband wasn’t sweet to me.”

The Northamptonshire police forensics team remove Nicholas Billingham’s remains on March 11, 2022 – Three and half months after he vanished

‘I suppose I ought to explain what happened to get me to this point. My mental health had been deteriorating. He was f****** around again. Whenever he was cheating he would up the ante on belittling, moaning and criticizing.’
The journal continued: ‘OK, here goes. October 2021. He spat on me and threatened me during sex.
‘I started plotting as Tulip22 after he’d gone to bed. I could no longer sleep in the bed due to my breathing being too loud or I moved too much or I was snoring or etc. etc. I would have to go downstairs after sex and even when I was unwell.
‘I got used to sleeping downstairs and waited for him to go to bed and then got high and let Tulip22 out. I knew I couldn’t let him get away with it.’
The ‘revealing’ journal detailed how planning of the crime started after Halloween, with Beal realizing coronavirus rules meant she would have a ‘guaranteed ten-day isolation period from positive symptoms’.
Beal wrote that she encouraged ‘him’ to have a bath ‘with the incentive of sex afterwards’, and hid the knife in her bedside draw while he was bathing.
She then wrote: ‘I got him to wear an eye mask.
‘It was harder than I thought it would be. Hiding a body was bad. Moving a body is much more difficult than it looks on TV.’

Billingham’s body was found underneath a ‘mound’ containing ‘layers upon layers’ of bark, soil, paving slabs and various wrappings. in Beal’s back garden. Prosecutors allege Beal kept detailed notes about the murder and disposing the body

The court heard the body was found underneath a ‘mound’ containing ‘layers upon layers’ of bark, soil, paving slabs and various wrappings.
Perian added: ‘The prosecution say from the evidence gathered that it is very likely that it took the defendant an extended period of time in undertaking the project to conceal his body in the garden.’
The court heard Billingham’s ‘partly mummified’ body was identified through dental records. A pathologist concluded the cause of death was due to a single stab wound to the right side of the neck, cutting the jugular vein.
The trial is ongoing. The defendant was told she was not entitled to apply for bail at the magistrates’ court and was ordered to appear at the town’s crown court on Tuesday.

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