Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Stabbing relative calls for rethink over Sheffield Knife Angel sculpture

Knife Angel Image copyright British Ironwork Centre
Image caption Knife Angel was created by artist Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre

The cousin of a girl stabbed to death by her father has started a petition after a council rejected a sculpture aimed at tackling knife crime.

William Billingham, 56, was jailed last year for murdering Mylee, 8, at his home near Walsall on 20 January 2018.

A Sheffield councillor said the 27ft (8m) Knife Angel statue, made up of 100,000 blades handed to UK police forces, would offend communities.

Mylee's cousin Hayley Lowe is urging the authority to reverse its decision.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Mylee Billingham pleaded with her father to "stop it" as he dragged her into his home and stabbed her to death with a kitchen knife

Councillor Paul Wood said he took the decision to not host the sculpture after gauging opinion from community groups and individuals.

"It was a split decision slightly in favour of not going ahead with it.

"There were some who thought it was a good idea but others who thought it was horrendous. Some people felt it was distasteful and I don't want to offend anyone. 

"Should the groundswell of opinion be in favour then I am happy to reconsider the position."

Ms Lowe, 25, from Heeley, said: "I'm in an anti-knife crime group and we wanted it to come. So many people have been affected by knife crime.

"I want to bring this magnificent statue to my own city as knife crime has affected me but also so many in Sheffield."

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Billingham denied murder but claimed he was guilty of manslaughter due to depression

Billingham stabbed his daughter to death with a kitchen knife in an act of revenge against his ex-partner.

The unemployed factory worker is serving a minimum term of 27 years after he was convicted of murder and making a threat to kill Mylee's mother, Miss Taundry, while holding a knife to her neck.

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