Picture of primary school teacher Fiona Beal accused of murdering and burying her boyfriend  Nicholas Billingham


Picture of primary school teacher Fiona Beal accused of murdering and burying her boyfriend  Nicholas Billingham

This is the first picture of a primary school teacher with the builder boyfriend she is accused of murdering and burying in the back garden of their Northampton home.

Fiona Beal, 48, was today charged with murdering Nicholas Billingham, 42, between October 30 and November 10, 2021.

At the time the picture was taken, Beal and builder Mr Billingham were living in the village of Earls Barton where they spent eight years together.

Neighbours at her terraced house in Northampton said that she and Mr Billingham had bought the £225,000 terraced property in 2020 after he lost work due to lockdown and the couple had a daughter together.

It was at that new address, a terraced house in the town, that police forensic experts discovered his body buried in the back garden.

Beal was said to be a teacher at Eastfield Academy in Northampton.

Ms Beal was arrested at a hotel in Cumbria on Wednesday, 200 miles from her home, after police with sniffer dogs had discovered a body buried in her back garden.

Police said the remains are due to be forensically examined by a pathologist in Leicester but are believed to be those of Mr Billingham who has been on the missing persons’ list.

Detective Chief Inspector Adam Pendlebury from Northamptonshire Police said: ‘We believe it (the body) to be that of a missing 42-year-old male, but formal identification is yet to take place.

‘This remains a complex and challenging investigation and we are appealing to anyone with information to contact Northamptonshire Police.’

Prosecutor Stella Moses asked for the case to be committed to the crown court.

Defending, Neil Clarke made no application for bail.

Beal’s next court appearance will be at Northampton Crown Court tomorrow.

Today, Eastfield Academy in Northampton – where Beal worked – said it was ‘shocked and saddened’ to hear she had been charged.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: ‘The guy who lived there helped me out about two years ago pushing the car in the ice.

‘He was a smallish chap, very fit looking. I haven’t seen him in this street since late July. It could even go back a bit later than October.

‘He was such pleasant guy, ever so nice. We had some snow and ice and he helped pushed my car out for me.

‘He was self employed with his details on the side of the van. We waved to each other a couple of times but nothing more than that.

‘It was a complete shock for something like this to happen on the doorstep.’


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