Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HL NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Man appears in court charged with schoolgirl bus murder
11:37am Friday 15th March 2013 in News
A 22-YEAR-OLD man appeared in court this morning (Friday March 15) charged with the murder of Halesowen schoolgirl Christina Edkins.
Phillip Simelane, who is accused of fatally stabbing 16-year-old Christina on the number 9 bus on Birmingham's Hagley Road just after 7.30am last Thursday (March 7), spoke only to confirm his name when he appeared at Birmingham Crown Court.
Simelane was remanded into a secure mental health facility until May 31 when he is due to appear for a plea and case management hearing at Birmingham Crown Court.
A provisional trial date has been set for mid-July.
Police confirmed the authority to charge Simelane was granted by the Crown Prosecution Service on Tuesday (March 12).
But the charges were only formally put to him at 9am today, after he was brought back into police custody from a secure unit, where his mental state was being assessed by medical experts.
Speaking outside court, Superintendent Richard Baker said: "We continue to support Christina's family, who are extremely relieved that someone has been charged."