Birmingham & Black Country

Christina Edkins killing: Phillip Simelane deemed unfit to plead

Christina Edkins
Image caption Christina Edkins was stabbed once as she travelled to school on 7 March

A man accused of stabbing a schoolgirl to death on a bus has been deemed unfit to plead until later this year.

Phillip Simelane, 22, is accused of murdering 16-year-old Christina Edkins as she travelled on a bus in Birmingham on 7 March.

She was stabbed travelling to school on the top deck of a double decker bus on the Hagley Road.

Mr Simelane did not appear for the hearing at Birmingham Crown Court and could appear in court on 6 September.

'Remained unfit'

Christina was killed on the bus while on her way to Leasowes High School, in Halesowen.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died from a single stab wound to her chest.

Prosecutor Peter Grieve-Smith told the court doctors had decided that Mr Simelane, from Walsall, remained unfit to plead or stand trial.

He said he expected Simelane to be in a position to plead in two to four months.

Friends and family were in court, including the victim's father Jason Edkins, and all were wearing splashes of purple in memory of the teenager.

Mr Simelane, who was remanded back into Reaside secure mental health hospital, will appear for a plea and case management hearing on 6 September.

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