A British schoolteacher allegedly lured her boyfriend to the bathroom for sex – then fatally stabbed him and buried his body in the garden after she became suspicious he was cheating.
The shocking allegations against Fiona Beal, 49, were made Monday in Northampton crown court, where the jury was told she decided to seek revenge against her partner of 17 years, the Times of London reported.
“Nicholas Billingham, whilst still in a relationship with the defendant, had cheated on her with other women. She believed he was cheating on her again,” prosecutor Steven Perian said.
“Instead of leaving him, she worked out a plan on how and when to kill him, where to conceal his body, how to cover up and explain his disappearance to others and to explain her own absence from work when she killed him,” he added.
Beal, who taught sixth grade at Eastfield Academy, allegedly told people that Billingham, 42, had left her for another woman – and also used his phone to message his friends and co-workers, pretending he was still alive.
The teacher told her headmaster that she had contracted COVID-19 and had to self-isolate – and was off work from Nov. 1, 2021, the day of the murder, and Nov. 12, according to Sky News.
Beal has denied murdering her former builder beau, whose partially mummified remains were discovered in March 2022. An autopsy determined he had died of a single stab wound to the neck, where the jugular vein was severed.
But Perian said the woman had described her evil “dark side” in a “chilling” confession about the gruesome crime, writing in a notebook that she hid the knife in a bedside drawer and got him to wear an eye mask before the attack.
“Whenever he was cheating he would up the ante on belittling, moaning and criticizing. . . I knew I couldn’t let him get away with it,” read an excerpt from her notebook.
“October 2021. He spat on me and threatened me during sex. I thought about leaving but the things he said and did fuelled my dark side — I call her Tulip22, she’s reckless, fearless and efficient. Ruthless,” Beal is said to have written.
“I started plotting as Tulip22 after he’d gone to bed. That night I planned. Covid rules meant I had a guaranteed ten-day isolation period from positive symptoms. He went to work. Tulip22 smoked and planned,” she continued, according to the prosecution.
“I’d planned it mentally so many times before. I had a bath. I left the water in. I encouraged the bath with the incentive of sex afterwards. While he was in the bath I kept the knife in my dressing gown pocket and then hid it in the drawer next to the bed. I brought a chisel, bin bag and cable ties too,” Beal wrote.
“It was harder than I thought it would be. Hiding a body was bad. Moving a body is much more difficult than it looks on TV,” the accused murderer added.
Beal allegedly tied up and wrapped Billingham’s body, buried it in the garden, and painted and cleaned her bedroom, Perian told the jurors.
The investigation began when Beal was absent from work again, in March 2022, when a concerned relative contacted police, the BBC reported.
Beal was tracked down to a rented lodge in Cumbria, where she was found with light wounds and what appeared to be a suicide note.
She was held under the Mental Health Act and admitted to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, where investigators read her notebook.
“The police recovered a notebook from the place where she had been renting that detailed a chilling account of how she had planned and killed someone, but it did not contain the name of the person she had killed,” Perian said.
Northamptonshire police found a bloodstained mattress in Beal’s basement and an apparent blood stain on the bed frame in the bedroom.
Beal’s notebook also referred to “Thelma and Louise,” the 1991 film starring Geena David and Susan Sarandon, whose characters are on the run after one fatally shoots a man who tried to rape her friend.
Perian said the entry detailed the breakdown of Beal and Billingham’s relationship.
“There’s a quote from ‘Thelma and Louise’ that feels appropriate: ‘You be sweet to them, especially your wife. My husband wasn’t sweet to me,’” he told the court.