Man remanded in custody over schoolgirl stabbing

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The Independent Online

A French national was remanded in custody today, charged with the attempted murder of 14-year-old Jessica Knight.

Kristofer Beddar, 21, of Daisy Hill Drive, Adlington, Chorley, Lancashire, is accused of stabbing Jessica up to 30 times in a frenzied attack.

Chorley Magistrates were told that Beddar handed himself in to police after the attack in Astley Park in Astley village on Monday.

Beddar was flanked by an interpreter during the 10-minute hearing.

He spoke only to confirm his name, address, and that he understood the allegation.

Jessica was found "covered in blood" by a cyclist alerted by her screams in Astley Park, Astley Village around 5.15pm on Monday.

She remains in a critical but stable condition at Manchester Children's Hospital.

Beddar will next appear at Preston Crown Court on February 4 for a preliminary hearing.

No application for bail was made.

Police said yesterday that Beddar had been living with members of his English family.

It is understood he moved to Britain in May 2007 from the south-east Paris suburb of Melun and was working as a baker in the Chorley area.

Police are still appealing for information about the incident and in particular are keen to trace the weapon they believe was used in the attack.

The investigation's senior officer, Detective Superintendent Steve Brunskill said: "I would also like to renew my appeal for anyone with information to come forward, especially anyone who may have been in the park or surrounding area between 4.30pm and 5.30pm on Monday."

Anyone with information should contact the incident room in Chorley on 01257 246272 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.