Zephaniah McLeod charged with murder and seven counts of attempted murder in knife attack

‘Our driving focus is to secure justice for the victims, their family and friends,’ detective chief inspector says

Vincent Wood
Wednesday 09 September 2020 00:31 BST
Suspect charged with murder and attempted murder after Birmingham stabbings

A man has been charged with the murder of Jacob Billington as well as seven counts of attempted murder after a string of stabbings in Birmingham in the early hours of Sunday morning.

West Midlands Police said Zephaniah McLeod, 27, is due to appear in a magistrates’ court on Wednesday morning.

On Sunday the force declared a major incident after Mr Billington, 23, was killed and seven others were stabbed in a city-centre spree that lasted 90 minutes.

Two of the victims remain in a critical condition with one, a 22-year-old woman, now critical but stable.

A man aged 30 remains in a serious condition, while four others have been discharged.

Detective chief inspector Jim Munro, leading the investigation, said: "Since these tragic events unfolded in the early hours of Sunday morning we've had a team of officers working non-stop on the investigation.

"Our driving focus is to secure justice for the victims, their family and friends. Our sympathies remain with everyone who's been impacted by these terrible crimes.

"Our investigation continues and I would urge any witnesses who've not yet spoken to us, or anyone with information they feel could help, to get in touch."

A post-mortem examination has since confirmed Mr Billington, a library intern at Sheffield Hallam University, died as a result of a stab wound to the neck. 

His family paid tribute to him as the "light of our life", in a statement issued through police on Monday.

Suzanne Llewellyn, deputy chief crown prosecutor of CPS West Midlands, said: "Following an incident in Birmingham city centre in the early hours of 6 September, 2020, the Crown Prosecution Service has authorised West Midlands Police to charge Zephaniah McLeod, 27, with one count of murder and seven counts of attempted murder.

"This decision was made following careful consideration of the evidence presented to us by West Midlands Police as a result of their ongoing investigation.

"Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of the victims affected in this incident."

Additional reporting by agencies

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