London: A 27-year-old man appeared in a UK court via videolink on Wednesday charged with murder in connection with stabbings that took place in Birmingham city centre in the early hours of Sunday.
Zephaniah McLeod has been charged with the murder of Jacob Billington, who was one of eight people stabbed.
McLeod is also accused of the attempted murder of the seven other victims of the knife attacks and was remanded in custody by Birmingham Magistrates’ Court to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday, again via videolink.
He spoke only to confirm his personal details during an appearance before two magistrates and was not asked for any pleas. There was no application for bail, West Midlands Police said.
The victims of the attempted murder charges were Dimitar Bachvarov, Migle Dolobauskaite, Thomas Glassey, Michael Callaghan, Shane Rowley, Rhys Cummings and Ryan Bowers, the court was told.
Billington, 23, died after being attacked in Irving Street while enjoying a night out with school friends from Liverpool visiting one of their group who is studying in Birmingham. A post-mortem concluded he died as a result of a stab wound to the neck.
A 23-year-old man, who was seriously injured in Irving Street, remains in hospital in a critical condition. A 22-year-old woman, attacked in Hurst Street, remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital.
Another man, aged 30, remains in a stable condition in hospital, while four others have been discharged.
Local police have faced some criticism of their response to the attacks, including the alleged assailant being able to wander the streets for about one and a half hours after his first attack.
The police believe the victims appear to have been chosen at random and do not believe there was a gang-related element to the attacks.-PTI
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