Murder victim found buried in back garden died from stab wound to neck

Nicholas Billingham was discovered by detectives on March 19 at a house in Northampton.

26 March 2022

A 42-year-old man whose remains were found buried in the back garden of a Northampton house died as a result of a stab wound to the neck.

Primary school teacher Fiona Beal is alleged to have murdered Nicholas Billingham between October 30 and November 10 last year.

Northamptonshire Police said a post mortem was conducted at Leicester Royal Infirmary where Mr Billingham’s identity and the cause of death were identified.

Nicholas Billingham
Nicholas Billingham died as a result of a stab wound to the neck (Northamptonshire Police/PA)

On March 19, Mr Billingham’s body was found behind a house in Moore Street, in the Kingsley area of Northampton, after a police search.

Beal was arrested at a hotel in Cumbria shortly after midnight on March 16, leading detectives to begin conducting an extensive search of her home.

The 48-year-old defendant, of Moore Street, was remanded into custody by a crown court judge to appear at Northampton Crown Court for a pre-trial hearing on April 19.

Body found in Northampton garden
Forensic officers at the scene in Moore Street, Kingsley (Jacob King/PA)

Forensic officers and specialist search teams, including a cadaver dog, were deployed to the address before the discovery was made.

Northampton’s Eastfield Academy, where Beal worked before her arrest, said they were “shocked and saddened” to hear of Mr Billingham’s death, describing the incident as an “appalling tragedy that will shake our school community”.

Police have urged anyone with any information about the case to contact them on 101.

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