Teacher stabs her partner and buries him in their garden after falsely claiming to have Covid-19

Teacher stabs her partner and buries him in their garden after falsely claiming to have Covid-19

A primary school teacher allegedly murdered her partner and buried his body in their garden after telling her headteacher she had Covid-19 and needed to self-isolate.

Fiona Beal, 49, of Northampton, denies murdering Nicholas Billingham, 42, whose partly mummified remains were discovered in March last year, four-and-a-half months after he was seen at a business meeting.

Prosecutors claim Beal wrote a “chilling” confession in a notebook, describing her “dark side” as ruthless, explaining how she hid a knife in a bedside drawer and got Billingham to wear an eye mask before his pre-planned murder.

Jurors were told that the notebook contained a claim that Beal believed Billingham was cheating on her and “had decided to kill him” by October 2021.

The notebook also described how Beal planned to conceal Billingham’s body, cover up and explain his disappearance to others, and how to explain her own absence from work when she killed him.

Beal allegedly told others that Billingham had left her for another woman, and used his phone to send messages to friends and work colleagues, pretending that he was still alive.

Records showed Beal, who worked as a Year 6 teacher, was absent from work between November 1 and November 12, and when she returned, she said her partner had left her, but there were no concerns about her work.

After going on a school trip to London in late February, Beal sent her headteacher another message saying she was ill.

She was subsequently traced by police to Cumbria, where she had checked into a lodge on March 6 last year.

Beal was found by police in March last year after suffering superficial wounds and writing a suicide note. She was then taken to hospital and detained under the Mental Health Act.

The trial continues.

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