Fiona Beal: Primary school teacher accused of murdering boyfriend ‘tried to kill herself’
Fiona Beal admits unlawfully killing Nicholas Billingham but denies murder due to her state of mind.
A primary school teacher who stabbed her boyfriend to death was later found in a bath following a failed suicide attempt, a court heard.
Fiona Beal, 48, is accused of luring Nicholas Billingham, 42, to bed for sex before blindfolding him and stabbing him in the neck at their home in Northampton in November 2021.
A court heard she buried his body in their back garden after wrapping him in bin bags, carpet, duvet and cable ties.
Mr Billingham’s mummified remains were discovered at the property in Northampton four months later with an eye mask on that read "this is my morning after face", the court was told.
Police were alerted after they found Beal had plotted the murder in a diary which was discovered when she tried to kill herself, jurors were told.
The notebook is said to have detailed how she was driven to killing an unnamed person and blamed her dark alter-ego Tulip22.
The court heard Beal carried out the attack on 1 November 2021 before allegedly writing the “confession” after fearing her partner of 17 years had been cheating on her again.
The Year 6 teacher was arrested following the discovery of the journals and the body in March last year and she denies murder at Northampton Crown Court.
On the second day of her trial on Tuesday, jurors were told how Cumbria Police discovered Beal motionless in a bath after being called out to a welfare check.
Officers had attended the lodge Beal was renting in the Lake District just four days earlier after she was reported missing from her home over 200 miles away.
Officers said she appeared “relaxed” and “chatted freely” telling them to inform her family she was safe and well.
But during the second visit when her family raised further concerns for her safety, PC Josh Parkin found Beal seriously injured lying naked in a bath, the court heard.
Giving evidence, PC Parkin said: “It looked like bodily fluids in the bath leading me to believe the individual was deceased."
He added: “She moaned and went to turn over in the bath. We sat her up and that’s when she started to become emotional.
“I found a blue leather-bound notebook with some sort of logo on the front of it. The significance at the time to me was that the paper was the same as the suicide note.
On police bodycam footage which was shown to the jury, Beal could be heard sobbing "leave me alone" and "I don’t want to live."
Beal admits unlawfully killing of Mr Billingham but denies murder due to her state of mind at the time.
A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death was given as a single stab wound to the right-hand side of the neck, which severed the jugular vein.
The trial continues.