Radio Sandwell Local News

Memorial for Christina Edkins cancelled after death threats

2013-03-17 12:19:48

Christina Edkins

Organisers of a tribute to murdered Birmingham schoolgirl Christina Edkins cancelled the event on Saturday after they claimed two of her friends had received internet death threats.

The music-themed memorial was due to have been staged on Saturday in Victoria Square and Hagley Road, where 16-year-old Christina died on her way to school on March 7.

Phillip Simelane, 22, from Walsall has appeared in court, charged with the Ladywood girl's murder. He is accused of stabbing the popular teenager to death on the rush hour No 9 bus.

Last Saturday, March 9, some 200 friends gathered in Birmingham city centre to pay their last respects at an event organised through the facebook social networking site. A repeat rally was scheduled for this Saturday.

But at the last minute the plug was pulled.

Daniel Perry, director of operations at Sure First Events and Music, which was supporting the tribute, said threats had been made against two of Christina's friends, aged 18 and 16.

"The girls were distraught," said Mr Perry. "They wanted to do an event both as a tribute to Christina and a protest that something like this should never have happened.

"One of the girls created the event on Facebook last week. It received massive attention within minutes of it being created. Everyone supported the event and said that they would be there.

"But then they started receiving hate messages via the event page. After the page was taken down, they received death threats and more hate messages via another social networking site."

Christina Edkins

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said the force was unaware of death threats but was looking into inappropriate comments posted online.

Elsewhere on Facebook, a 'troll' who called herself Becky Grainger targeted a Facebook page called RIP Christina Edkins - but her words were removed.

Posters reacted angrily to the abuse, which appeared beneath a note about a candle-lit vigil for Christina which is due to take place at Birmingham Cathedral at 7.30pm this Thursday.

Zara Jane posted: "She's messaged me telling me that Christina's flowers are gonna be trampled over. What is wrong with society?

"She just sent me a picture of my son, saying he could be next."

Andrew Emma Bird said: "You are disgusting Becky Grainger. How would you feel if it was one of your family?"

Claire Bagshaw said: "It's so heartless of these people to do this. That girl died going to school, she didn't hurt anybody. And she didn't deserve this at all. "There are so many sick twisted people out there."

The RIP Christina Edkins page host responded: "What was said is not important. Safe to say, it wasn't the type of thing that any normal sane person would post on a memorial page."

Chief Inspector Dean Hatton, from West Midlands Police, said: "The event which was due to go ahead on Saturday was cancelled by the organisers after a man was charged with Christina's murder on Friday.

"Officers are aware of some inappropriate comments made on social media and have spoken to the organisers about these, but no specific threats have been made and no offences have been reported.

"Police continue to support Christina's family and the local community following her tragic death.

"We understand the impact it has had on young people in Birmingham who are still coming to terms with what happened, and officers will work with the organisers of any future events to ensure they are carried out safely and peacefully."

Share this story

Related Stories

Local news around the web

'Substance' sprayed at taxi driver at Birmingham station

This is the 'best pasta sauce in the world' - and it has only three simple ingredients

Alleged hammer attack at shopping centre

Thousands expected to bid farewell to Birmingham's 'King of Scoops'

Two men injured in shooting

Man suffers head injuries in horrific machete attack in Wednesbury

Sawn-off shotguns hidden under stairs

Narcos, Birmingham - review

Terrified shoppers flee Merry Hill shopping centre after alleged hammer attack in food court

Hit and run victim was in vintage car

Image Slider