I heard my girl scream as her dad killed her.. why weren’t we warned?
Mum’s anger after violent past of partner was ignored
GRINNING from ear to ear in a cute holiday snap, little Mylee Billingham doesn’t have a care in the world.
But just months later, the eight-yearold’s life was cruelly snuffed out with a knife by her evil dad William.
Authorities took no steps to monitor 56-year-old Billingham’s contact with her – despite him being a violent criminal with a history of domestic abuse.
Last week we revealed Mylee was one of 63 kids killed after they were left alone with known abusive parents.
Now, in a heartbreaking interview, Mylee’s mum Tracey Taundry is backing our crusade to change the law and Save Kids From Violent Parents.
Tracey, 35, who was forced to listen to Mylee begging “Stop it, Daddy” as Billingham stabbed her to death behind a closed door, said: “No violent criminal should be left alone with a child.
“I just wish I could switch places with Mylee. My life has changed and I’ll never be the person I was.”
Tracey also slammed authorities for not warning her about Billingham’s background, saying she would have taken legal action in a bid to stop him accessing their daughters if she had known the extent of his violence.
She said: “Why wasn’t I told about his previous conviction? He also had children with exes who would be in the same situation as mine were.
“Social workers must have known about his record. I could kick myself.
“I wish I could go back and stop him from seeing my children but I would have been accused of being a bad parent and using them as a weapon.”
Tracey, of Walsall, West Midlands, also revealed that Billingham has refused to give up his parental rights to their two surviving girls – even though he is now serving life in jail.
He is entitled to regular updates on the other kids and has a say in medical treatment and education. Tracey even needs permission to take them on holiday.
He can also bar the girls from changing their surname.
Tracey said: “How can the man who murdered my daughter have control over my children? Why should he know about their welfare?
“He doesn’t want me to be able to move on and, by having control of the kids, he has control of me. One of my daughters was called a ‘murderer in the making’ because of her surname.”
Tracey’s world imploded when Mylee was killed on an access visit in January 2018.
Billingham was furious because Tracey was in a new relationship, even though they had split up years earlier.
Authorities had not checked Mylee was safe with her father even though he had a 1990s conviction for ABH relating to a previous girlfriend, of which Tracey was unaware.
His murder trial at Birmingham Crown Court also heard claims he had threatened to jump from a balcony while holding his son from a past relationship.
Tracey said that if she had known about his background she would have taken legal action, even though it might not have succeeded.
Our nine-month probe has shown that even when cases reach the family courts, judges often grant unsupervised
access to violent criminal parents.
The Children Act, introduced in 1989, was designed to ensure the welfare of children comes first. But it does not specifically ban anyone convicted of violent crimes, sexual offences or child abuse from unsupervised access. Tracey said social services did visit her after Billingham was cautioned for assaulting her when Mylee was small.
But she claimed they did not make clear how violent he’d been in the past, or how his behaviour put her kids at risk.
She said: “Nothing was really explained. I wasn’t aware of anything but my own situation.”
A serious case review was commissioned in the wake of Mylee’s death, which found authorities failed to record key details about Billingham’s abuse.
It also found that professionals failed to make checks to ensure Tracey and her kids were safe. Tracey is now tortured by the thought that her evil ex could have killed all three of their girls.
Tracey, who has started her own petition for Mylee’s Law to remove parental rights from people convicted of serious crimes, said: “He killed Mylee to spite me. In a way, I’m grateful – it’s like she died so her sisters didn’t have to.”
She added: “Some days everything is fine with the other girls, then I remember Mylee is not there. It’s the little things, like when I buy a pack of three chocolates and have one left.”
Our campaign is being backed by a raft of charities and MPs. Shadow Home Office minister Carolyn Harris said: “The idea children need both parents is admirable, but a dangerous parent is a threat.”
Refuge chief Sandra Horley said: “We want an end to the presumption that parental contact is always positive.”
GRIEF OF A MUM Tracey at Mylee’s funeral last year PLAYFUL Mylee in a cheeky pose EVIL Billingham had a violent past
CAMPAIGN Our story on domestic abuse last week
FACE OF AN ANGEL Mylee was killed by own father