Builder found buried in Midlands back garden identified by dental records

Posted: Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

The body of a man found buried in the back garden of a Midlands house was identified by dental records, an inquest has heard. A short hearing held by the assistant coroner for Northampton, Hassan Shah, was told 42-year-old Nicholas Billingham is believed to have died from a stab wound, CoventryLive reported.

Primary school teacher Fiona Beal, of Moore Street, Kingsley, Northampton, appeared in court last month charged with murdering Billingham between October 30 and November 10 last year. Opening and adjourning the inquest in Northampton on Wednesday April 6, Shah said Billingham’s body was found last month at a property in Moore Street.

He told the court: "I have a report from Richard Leigh Evans, a forensic odontologist, confirming a positive identification on the basis of dental records. In relation to the provisional cause of death, I have a statement from Dr (Frances) Hollingbury, a registered forensic pathologist, of stab wound to the neck, pending further tests. I do on that basis now adjourn this inquest to September 21."

Beal was arrested at a hotel in Cumbria shortly after midnight on March 16, leading detectives to begin conducting an extensive search of her home. The 48-year-old is due to appear at Northampton Crown Court for a pre-trial hearing on April 19.

Northampton’s Eastfield Academy, where Beal worked before her arrest, said they were "shocked and saddened" to hear of Billingham’s death, describing the incident as an "appalling tragedy that will shake our school community".

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