‘Beal is pure evil. A monster, who must now spend many years ahead of her asking why she killed my Nick’

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The mother of murdered Nicholas Billingham today brands Fiona Beal a ‘monster’ as she’s sentenced to life in prison.

Beal appeared for sentencing at a two-day hearing at the Old Bailey in London having changed her plea to guilty to murder last month just a few days into the retrial of her case.

The 50-year-old had initially admitted only the manslaughter of Mr Billingham at the house they shared in Moore Street, Kingsley, sometime between October 30 and November 10, 2021.

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Sentencing her to serve a minimum term of 20 years, The Recorder of London, His Honour Judge Mark Lucraft KC, described Beal’s lack of remorse as well as the “significant degree of planning and pre-meditation” she showed in murdering Nick.

The 50-year-old had initially admitted only the manslaughter of Mr Billingham at the house they shared in Moore Street, Kingsley, sometime between October 30 and November 10, 2021.The 50-year-old had initially admitted only the manslaughter of Mr Billingham at the house they shared in Moore Street, Kingsley, sometime between October 30 and November 10, 2021.
The 50-year-old had initially admitted only the manslaughter of Mr Billingham at the house they shared in Moore Street, Kingsley, sometime between October 30 and November 10, 2021.

Following the hearing, Yvonne Valentine, mother of Nick Billingham, said: “Today, our family welcomes the lengthy sentence handed down by the Court to Fiona Beal for the brutal murder of my son, Nick Billingham, in November 2021.

“Nothing will ever make up for the pain we have suffered over the now more than two-and-half-years since, but at least we can sleep safe in the knowledge that Beal will be locked away for years during which she will have more than enough time to reflect on her actions.

“She has demonstrated extraordinary evil. Behind her façade as a kindly schoolteacher, she was secretly planning the cold-blooded killing of Nick. Once the deed was done, she went to great lengths to conceal his body, dumping him in an impromptu grave, like rubbish, before carrying on with her life as if nothing had happened.

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“You can probably only imagine the sense of shock and devastation when we learned, in March 2022, that Nick had been taken from us more than four months earlier, four months during which myself and others close to him continued to receive messages from him as if Nick, just 42, was still alive, well, and moving on with his life. How far from the truth that was?

“Imagine how, on reflection, the revulsion one felt at that day in Christmas 2021 when invited to have a drink at her home. Devoid of emotion, Beal simply sat there looking at me, the mother of a man whose discarded body she had single-handedly buried just feet away.

“Beal is pure evil. A monster, who must now spend many years ahead of her asking why she killed my Nick: A good father, a good friend, and a much-loved son.

“Finally, I would like to thank the Crown Prosecution Service for their unstinting efforts and for the support provided to our family by the Homicide Service.

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“And in particular, I wish to thank Northamptonshire Police for everything they have done since we first crossed paths one tragic night in 2022.

“For the way they have conducted the investigation, ensuring this woman was made to face justice for her actions and for supporting me and my family in what has been the most difficult time of our lives. They have been invaluable and a constant source of strength.”Beal originally went on trial for murder at Northampton Crown court last March, but after a hearing that lasted almost four months, the case collapsed for legal reasons.

The trial restarted at the Old Bailey earlier this year but on April 26 Beal finally confessed to the murder of Nicholas and changed her plea to guilty.