Birmingham stabbings accused ‘returned home during attack spree’

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Jacob Billington

image copyrightPolice handout

image captionJacob Billington was out with friends when he was stabbed in Birmingham

A man accused of a series of knife attacks, one of which was fatal, went home during the period in which the attacks happened, an inquest has heard.

An inquest has been opened into the death of Jacob Billington, who was stabbed on a night out in Birmingham.

The 23-year-old, originally from Crosby in Merseyside, died from a knife wound on 6 September following a string of attacks spanning 90 minutes.

Zephaniah McLeod is charged with murder and seven counts of attempted murder.

Two critically ill

He allegedly left the city centre after there had been two knife attacks to go to his home in Nately Grove, Selly Oak, before returning to the area of the attacks, Det Supt Samantha Ridding from West Midlands Police told Birmingham Coroner’s Court earlier.

Mr Billington, a library intern, was one of eight people stabbed at four locations in and around Birmingham’s Gay Village in what Det Supt Ridding told the inquest was “an unprovoked attack”.

Two of the victims remain in a critical condition in hospital – including a friend Mr Billington was enjoying a night out with, senior coroner Louise Hunt was told.

The hearing has been adjourned until the conclusion of the criminal investigation.

Mr McLeod, 27, has previously appeared in court in connection with the stabbings and a trial date has been scheduled for February 2021.

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In a statement, Mr Billington’s family said he “lit up every room with his boundless energy and witty humour”.

“He was a funny, caring and wonderful person who was loved by every single person he met,” the family added.

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