Phillip Simelane to be charged with murdering 16-year-old Christina Edkins on Birmingham bus

 

A man is to be charged with the murder of a 16-year-old girl who was stabbed on a bus on her way to school.

West Midlands Police said they have been given authority by the Crown Prosecution Service to charge 22-year-old Phillip Simelane with killing Christina Edkins.

Meanwhile, the force also issued a statement in which Christina's parents said their world had been torn apart by the loss of their “beautiful princess”.

Simelane, from Walsall, was sectioned under the Mental Health Act following the stabbing in Birmingham last Thursday and will be charged with murder in due course, a police spokesman said.

Making their first public comment about their daughter's death, Christina's parents Jason and Kathleen described her as a "bubbly, beautiful and intelligent" teenager.

In their statement, 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."

The grieving parents added: "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."

Christina, who lived near Birmingham city centre but was a pupil at Leasowes High School in Halesowen, died from a single stab wound to the chest.

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

The statement continued: "We'd bought Christina's prom dress the week before and recall the day she tried it on... she looked like a princess.

"Christina was studying extremely hard for her exams and weighing up which college to attend.

"In many ways she was like most 16-year-olds - worried about her appearance, what fake tan to wear, how her hair and nails looked and about 'hot boys', as Christina would call them!

"We would like to thank everyone for their kind words, flowers, teddies, balloons and candles... the support has been fantastic and shows what good, kind people there are in this world.

"We'd like to thank West Bromwich Albion for their half-time tribute at the weekend and to the fans for their heartfelt applause, which was very emotional.

"Finally, we'd like to thank West Midlands Police for all the help and support they've given us through this difficult and distressing time.

"We're relieved to hear a man will soon be charged and, hopefully, we can soon get justice for Christina."

Detective Superintendent Rich Baker said: "This was a horrific, random attack and one that's understandably shocked many people.

"I'm pleased to announce we now have authority to charge the suspect with murder.

"I'd like to thank Christina's family for their continued support and patience during our inquiry. Everyone wants to see justice for Christina and her family and from day one we've been determined to help deliver that justice for them."

PA

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