Birmingham bus stabbing inquest adjourned

 

An inquest has been opened and adjourned into the death of a teenage girl who was stabbed on a bus as she travelled to school.

Christina Edkins, 16, was pronounced dead at the scene of the stabbing on the top deck of a bus in Edgbaston, Birmingham, last Thursday.

Her father confirmed his daughter's name, date of birth, address and funeral arrangements in the hearing at Birmingham's Coroner's Court today.

Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jones, leading the investigation into her killing, was asked by Birmingham Coroner Aidan Cotter what the circumstances of Christina's death were.

He said: "On the morning of March 7 Christina was on the number 9 bus heading out of the city and was approached by a male and stabbed once.

"Sadly, despite the efforts of members of the public and the ambulance service, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Following that, an arrest of a man was made, and he is being dealt with by police officers and I hope shortly to be charging him with murder."

A post-mortem examination determined the cause of death as a stab wound to the chest.

West Midlands Police have been authorised to charge 22-year-old Phillip Simelane with the murder of Christina, who was travelling to Leasowes High School in Halesowen when she was attacked.

Simelane, from Walsall, is being held under the Mental Health Act in a secure unit and has yet to be formally charged.

Mr Cotter asked if the suspect would be produced at the Crown Court, if charged, given he was under the supervision of a mental health team, and Mr Jones confirmed Simelane would have to appear.

Mr Cotter released the body to the family so the funeral could take place.

He said to Mr Edkins: "I am very sorry for your family and for your loss."

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Christina's parents, Jason and Kathleen, said their world had been torn apart by their daughter's death.

Mr and Mrs Edkins said: "We are heartbroken by the loss of our beautiful princess, Christina, and it's hard to find words to describe the pain we're all feeling.

"Her family and friends will remember her as an amazing individual with her whole life ahead of her - a life that was tragically cut short on that Thursday morning.

"Our lives will never be the same again.

"We are truly overwhelmed by the kindness that's been shown by friends and neighbours, people who knew Christina well and also those who never got the chance to meet her."

Her parents' tribute said she was "just like most 16-year-olds" and had been studying hard for exams while looking forward to her school prom.

Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his condolences to Christina's family earlier in the week.

PA