Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

Birmingham stabbings: Suspect ‘returned home’ during series of attacks, inquest hears

A court has heard that police believe a man accused of murdering one person and attempting to murder seven others in Birmingham went home in the middle of the attacks.

The inquest into the death of 23-year-old Jacob Billington from Liverpool opened this morning.

Detective Superintendant Sam Ridding from West Midlands Police, told the court that the man accused of carrying out the attacks is thought to have started in the Constitution Hill area of the city, then “left to go to his home in Selly Oak, and then returned” to the city centre to attack others including Jacob and his friends.

Zephaniah McLeod has been charged with murder and seven counts of attempted murder.

Detective Superintendent Ridding also told the court that two of the victims remain critically ill in hospital.

Mr Billington, a Sheffield Hallam University student from Crosby, Merseyside, had been on a night out with friends in Birmingham when a man approached the group.

Detective Ridding told senior coroner Louise Hunt: “An unprovoked attack was then launched at Jacob and his friends, during which Jacob received his fatal stab wound.”

West Midlands Police declared a major incident after victims were injured in five locations across the city centre, including Livery Street and Hurst Street.

The force was criticised for apparent delays in responding to the attacks, which its chief constable condemned as “ill-informed critique”.

Liverpool-born Mr Billington was pronounced dead at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, his inquest heard.

The hearing was also informed that a post-mortem examination had concluded the graduate died after suffering sharp force trauma to the neck.

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