Murder trial CCTV shows teacher accused of burying body shopping in B&Q

CCTV has been released showing a primary school teacher buying bags of compost and decorative stones days after she is alleged to have murdered her partner, whose body was found buried in their garden.

The footage, which was played to jurors at Northampton Crown Court last week, shows Fiona Beal visiting a B&Q store on the afternoon of November 13 2021, 12 days after she is alleged to have stabbed Nicholas Billingham in the neck.

As well as showing Beal, 49, entering and leaving the store, she is seen being assisted by a member of staff with two trollies carrying bags of compost and stones, and a light-coloured plastic planter.

The jury has heard the goods were picked up from the click-and-collect area of the store at Nene Valley Retail Park after being pre-ordered.

Fiona Beal
Fiona Beal leaving the store (Northamptonshire Police/PA)

The trial was told last Wednesday that the remains of Mr Billingham were found wrapped in carpet, buried under bark chippings, soil, wooden sheeting, concrete building blocks, bricks and planks.

Plastic bags, rubble, mortar, polystyrene, laminate flooring and sections of fabric and vinyl were also recovered from a “built structure” hiding the body.

Prosecutors allege Beal planned the killing, stabbing her long-term partner on November 1 2021 in the master bedroom of their home in Moore Street, Northampton, after informing her headteacher she had Covid-19.

It is alleged a notebook found when Beal was arrested in March last year contained a hand-written “confession” to the killing.

Her barrister has claimed the “scribblings” are clear evidence of a disturbed mind.

Giving evidence last Wednesday, forensic archaeologist Peter Schofield took the jury through photographs taken as Mr Billingham’s body was uncovered during a three-day excavation.

Beal’s barrister, Andrew Wheeler KC, has told the court she would argue she was mentally “broken” at the time of the killing and is guilty of manslaughter but not murder.

The Year Six teacher denies murder.

The trial continues.