Birmingham stab attacks murder-accused appears before crown court judge

A 27-year-old man accused of murdering a university worker and attempting to murder seven other people in a series of Birmingham city centre knife attacks on Sunday has appeared before a crown court judge.

Court artist sketch of Zephaniah McLeod
Court artist sketch of Zephaniah McLeod

Birmingham-born Zephaniah McLeod, of Nately Grove, Selly Oak, Birmingham, appeared via a videolink at the city's crown court today.

McLeod is accused of stabbing to death 23-year-old Jacob Billington, a Sheffield Hallam University graduate intern, and attempting to kill seven others in early hours of Sunday.

It is alleged the defendant did not remain in city centre throughout the whole 90-minute period over which the five separate incidents unfolded.

McLeod, who spoke only to confirm he could hear proceedings and his name during the 25-minute hearing, appeared wearing a yellow and green jumpsuit.

At times, he could be seen rubbing his temples with both hands, touching his wrist and screwing his eyes closed.

The Recorder of Birmingham Judge Melbourne Inman QC remanded McLeod into custody for a further hearing back at Birmingham Crown Court next month and set a three-week provisional trial date for February 22, 2021.

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