Zephaniah McLeod pleads guilty to Birmingham knife rampage charges

28-year-old Zephaniah McLeod has pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted murder, three counts of wounding, and manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, following a brutal knife rampage carried out in the early hours of the morning last September.

McLeod stabbed a 33-year-old man in the neck shortly after midnight on 6 September, before stabbing two women twenty minutes later.

He then dumped his knife before catching a taxi home, at which point he re-armed himself and returned to Birmingham city centre to continue the grim carnage.

He attacked a group of school friends as they returned to their hotel, stabbing 23-year-old Jacob Billington to death and critically injuring one of Billington’s close friends.

He stabbed another two men on Hurst Street and then critically injured a young woman after that.

Hannah Sidaway of the CPS called the incident “a totally unprovoked attack on a number of people which sadly led to fatal consequences for Jacob Billington, and serious injuries for the other victims.”

“The number of CCTV cameras across the city is significant and took an immense amount of co-ordination, however not all of the incidents were covered by cameras” said Detective Chief Inspector Jim Munro, who led the investigation into the horrific case.

“We were able to match the clothing McLeod wore to witness and victim descriptions, to identify him and he was arrested from his home address 24 hours later.

“McLeod has never given an explanation for his actions that night which leaves no closure for his victims or their families and friends, although I am pleased that the admission of his crimes has spared those involved the ordeal of a trial.

“In accepting his pleas of wounding, attempted murder and particularly manslaughter for the deeply distressing death of Jacob, we have consulted all those involved fully and they understand why this decision has been reached.”

McLeod will now be sentenced in September following the delivery of mental health reports.