An eight-year-old girl called out for her mother and shouted “no daddy” as she was dragged to her death at the hands of her father, a murder trial has heard.
Birmingham Crown Court was told Mylee Billingham was stabbed “right through” her chest after William Billingham grabbed the hood of her coat and pulled her into his bungalow, as her mother dialled 999 outside.
On the second day of the trial, prosecutor Karim Khalil QC said Billingham, a 55-year-old father-of-six, only made comments about his own welfare as police tried to revive his daughter.
Billingham denies murdering Mylee at his bungalow in Valley View, near Walsall, and making a threat to kill her mother, his former partner Tracey Taundry, as she arrived to collect the primary school pupil.
The Crown barrister told the jury: “As Tracey and Mylee began to walk away, Tracey heard a ‘tink’ sound behind her.
“She turned and saw a large black-handled knife on that doorstep. The defendant immediately bent down and picked it up. He said something to effect of ‘This isn’t happening’.”
The court was told that Billingham, who claims to have no memory of the day of the alleged murder, stepped out of his front door and put the knife against the side of Miss Taundry’s neck, saying “I’m going to f****** kill you.”
Mr Khalil added: “Tracey managed to move away. She also pushed Mylee away and started to run but she slipped.
“Then Tracey saw the defendant grab Mylee by the hood of her coat and he started to drag Mylee back towards the bungalow. All the time Mylee was shouting ‘mummy, mummy’ and ‘please daddy, no daddy, stop it’.”
After Mylee was taken inside, Miss Taundry banged on the door but could not open it as she shouted to her daughter.
Police gained entry to the property quickly, the trial was told, where they were confronted with a “terrible” scene.
Billingham is alleged to have been unco-operative with the first two officers to arrive, only speaking to confirm he had a lung condition which had caused him breathing difficulties.
“We say that he continued to show a total disregard for her young life, referring only to something that might matter to his own care,” Mr Khalil said.
During the prosecution’s opening speech, the jury were shown the black-handled kitchen knife which the Crown say was used to inflict Mylee’s 17cm-deep stab wound.
The evidence in the case, Mr Khalil said, suggested that Mylee “was probably lying down and it was a hard surface” which prevented the 20cm blade passing out of her back.
Mr Khalil told the jury of eight women and four men a pathologist believed severe force was used to inflict the wound, which caused rib damage and “penetrated the entire depth of Mylee’s chest from front to back”.
Billingham was treated for wounds to his stomach, which the Crown say were self-inflicted, before being interviewed by police after undergoing surgery.
Concluding his opening speech, Mr Khalil addressed claims by a psychiatric expert, due to be called by the defence, that Billingham may have a partial defence of diminished responsibility, reducing murder to manslaughter.
Claiming Billingham’s behaviour in the days leading up to the killing did not reveal any serious abnormality of mind, Mr Khalil said: “When he went to his front door, he had already secretly armed himself with a knife.
“Although this behaviour was not expected, we say it appeared to be rational in the sense that he clearly knew exactly what he was doing.
“When Tracey managed to get away, he grabbed Mylee and dragged her back into the house – again, he clearly knew exactly what he was doing and to whom.
“What of the killing itself? It was swift, deliberate, clinical, brutal – it was not some manic unfocused assault. It has the hallmarks of him knowing precisely what he was doing.
“This was no accident and it was not a slight injury – it was a deep, violent thrust of a lethal weapon into the most vulnerable part of his young daughter’s body.”