Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Man to face bus girl murder charge

Christina Edkins, 16, was fatally stabbed on a bus in Birmingham (West Midlands Police/PA)
Police at the scene of the stabbing in Hagley Road, Birmingham
Tributes left for Christina Edkins

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.

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