Mylee Billingham: Father found dead in prison

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William BillinghamImage source, West Midlands Police
Image caption,
William Billingham was jailed in 2018 and told he would serve a minimum term of 27 years

A man serving a life sentence for murdering his eight-year-old daughter has died in jail.

William Billingham, 57, was jailed in 2018 and told he would serve a minimum of 27 years after being found guilty of murdering Mylee Billingham.

The trial at Birmingham Crown Court was told Mylee was stabbed in January 2018 in a "revenge" attack.

At an inquest opening, the coroner said his death at HMP Birmingham on Friday was likely linked to a lung condition.

Coroner James Bennett was told the father-of-six was dead by the time paramedics arrived at the prison.

He said Billingham's death was likely to be linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and confirmed he had complained of feeling unwell and was assessed by medical staff the previous day.

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court were told that Billingham killed Mylee after dragging her into his bungalow when her mother, Tracey Taundry, came to collect her.

Billingham was also given a two-year concurrent jail term for making a threat to kill Ms Taundry, his ex-partner.

"At this point in time West Midlands Police do not believe his death to be suspicious," the coroner added.

Mr Bennett said the cause of death linked to COPD could not be confirmed until all tests were completed, and adjourned the inquest until 29 July.

"It is likely that Mr Billingham's death was connected to his severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder but that cannot be confirmed until toxicology has been completed," he said.

A HM Prison Service spokesman said: "HMP Birmingham prisoner William Billingham died in custody on 19 March 2021. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed."

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