Man admits killing uni worker Jacob Billington, 23, during 90-minute knife rampage

A MAN has admitted killing university worker Jacob Billington, 23, during a 90-minute knife rampage.

Zephaniah McLeod pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to the manslaughter of university worker Jacob, 23.

He also pleaded guilty to charges in connection with seven other people injured in a series of knife attacks in the city centre last year.

The spate of stabbings took place in the early hours of September 6 while Birmingham was packed with revellers.

McLeod appeared in court over a video link from Ashworth Hospital wearing a white T-shirt and dark blue zip-up top.

He spoke to confirm his name and say he understood proceedings, before entering pleas.


In addition to the charge of manslaughter, McLeod pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted murder and three charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The 28-year-old, of Selly Oak, had been in custody since being charged with committing the attacks, which happened in the space of 90 minutes.

Jacob, a Sheffield Hallam University graduate intern and drummer from Crosby, Merseyside, was fatally stabbed in the neck, during the spree.

He was among eight people stabbed during the attacks which triggered a major emergency services response.

Jacob's mother was in court and his father dialled in to the video-link to hear the pleas.

Family members from a number of the other victims also listened in to the proceedings.

The court heard McLeod suffered with paranoid schizophrenia.

Seven others were injured in four clusters of attacks across the city centre, including Mr Billington's old school friend and bandmate Michael Callaghan.

McLeod will be sentenced on September 27 and 28.

Jacob’s family paid tribute to him after the horrifying attack, saying: “Jacob was the light of our life and we have been devastated by his loss.

“He was a funny, caring and wonderful person who was loved by every single person he met.

“He lit up every room with his boundless energy and witty humour and the loss of such a special person will be felt by all who knew him for years to come.”

Jacob graduated in geography at Sheffield Hallam University before later taking a job as an intern.

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