Radio Sandwell Local News

Christina Edkins stabbing: Man admits killing schoolgirl

2013-10-02 15:21:10

Christina Edkins
Phillip Simelane arrested in Hagley Road. Inset: Christina Edkins

Phillip Simelane, the man accused of stabbing Birmingham schoolgirl Christina Edkins to death on a bus, has pleaded guilty to her manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Christina, aged 16, died from a single knife wound to the chest on Hagley Road on the morning of March 7 as she travelled on the No.9 bus to Leasowes High School in Halesowen.

The tragedy shocked the nation. Hundreds attended a memorial for Christina, a vigil and Christina's funeral at Birmingham Cathedral.

Simelane, aged 23, of Walsall, was arrested the same day and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

He was initially deemed unfit to enter a plea when the case first came to court.

It has emerged that Phillip Simelane allegedly threatened to kill two teenage girls 12 months before the killing of Christina - on the same No 9 bus.

A witness told how she saw Simelane try to engage the girls in conversation but became angry when they refused to talk to him.

Just before Simelane stepped off the bus, he had a brief exchange with the driver, who asked him: "what is all the fuss about upstairs?"

Simelane responded with: "I think it's a row about a Daysaver ticket."
He then casually stepped off the bus and began walking away before anybody realised what had actually happened.

History of violence

The killer's criminal past includes a knife threat against his own mother, assaulting a police officer, possession of cocaine and attempting to steal a car.

He began suffering mental illness as a teenager and rarely attended George Dixon School in Edgbaston where he was a pupil.

After his release from prison in December, his mother urged him to seek help for his mental health.

Simelane has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order at Birmingham Crown Court.

Christina's parents Kathleen and Jason have told how touched they have been by the support they have received, plus the tributes paid to their daughter.

They described Christina as "bright, beautiful, caring and loved by everyone".

Leasowes High School produced their 2013 yearbook displaying a purple ribbon in memory of the 16-year-old and included a poem written in her memory.

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