Northampton Primary Teacher Who Killed Her Partner, Buried His Body in Garden Over His 'Affair,' Jailed

Fiona Beal and Nicholas Billingham
Fiona Beal (left) and Nicholas Billingham. Twitter

A primary school teacher who stabbed her partner to death and buried his body in their garden has been jailed for a minimum of 20 years.

Fiona Beal, 50, had admitted to killing builder Nicholas Billingham, 42, her partner for 17 years, after learning about his affair with another woman.

As reported by BBC, Judge Mark Lucraft imposed a mandatory life sentence and said Beal must serve 20 years in jail before being considered for parole. Beal had pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced at the Old Bailey, by Judge Lucraft, on Thursday, May 30.

Beal Had 'Carefully Planned' the Murder, Falsely Claimed She and Billingham Had Covid and Would be in Isolation

Mr Billingham's remains were found in Northampton in March 2022, more than four months after he was last seen alive - on 1 November 2021, the judge heard. He had worked on a house renovation, on the day he died, before returning to the home he shared with Beal in Northampton, the judge heard.

Prosecutor Hugh Davies KC, said Mr Billingham's death had been a "carefully planned domestic execution." Beal had stabbed Mr Billingham in the neck and disposed of his body like "building waste,' Davies said.

The judge was told how Beal tried to cover her tracks by telling everyone a false story she and Mr. Billingham had Covid and needed to isolate. She even sent out similar messages from the victim's phone.

On Nov. 8, Beal sent messages to her sisters saying she and Mr Billingham had split up. She said he had left because of an affair with another woman, the judge was told. She even received sympathy from those who had heard about the apparent break-up.

Beal was Arrested After Investigators Found Her Confession in Journal Entry

Fiona Beal and Nicholas Billingham
Fiona Beal and Nicholas Billingham. Twitter

The following month, she rented a cabin in Cumbria and sent messages to family members which gave them cause for concern over her wellbeing, prompting them to call police to check on her.

In the cabin, police found Beal's journals containing a confession to the killing. In a journal entry dated February 12, she wrote: "I'm not a total monster. I know what I did." She continued, "I had smoked all day. I had a bath, I left the water in. He had been pushing for sex. I encouraged the bath with the incentive of sex afterwards.

"While he was in the bath I kept the knife in my dressing gown pocket and then I had it in the drawer next to the bed. I brought a chisel, bin bag and cable ties up too. I got him to wear an eye mask."

She went on: "My last words to him when he asked why was that he was not going to do to (another female) what he had done to me."

The journal entries sparked an investigation. Police had visited her home on March 16 but found nothing out of the ordinary. However, the following day, officers found a bloodstained mattress in the basement. Beal was arrested in March 2022 after police discovered Mr Billingham's body, the judge heard.

Mr Billingham's body had been buried in makeshift layers of sheeting and concrete.The judge told Beal: "Having moved and buried the body in the garden you then lied to his mother, numerous friends, all his family and yours as to what you had done and where he was."