The parents of the teenager stabbed to death on the bus to school told yesterday of their ‘beautiful princess’ and how she bought a PROM DRESS just a week earlier.
Christina Edkins, 16, died from a single wound to her heart during the rush-hour attack on the top floor of a double-decker bus in Birmingham’s Hagley Road.
The GCSE student was due to leave her high school this summer – and had already bought her dress in excitement for the farewell ball.
Speaking publicly for the first time, her grieving mother and father Kathleen, 47, and Jason, 42, said their world had been ‘torn apart’ by her death last Thursday.
They 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.
“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.
“We’d bought Christina’s prom dress the week before and recall the day she tried it on – she looked like a princess. She was our Princess.
“Christina was studying extremely hard for her exams and weighing-up which college to attend.
“In many ways she was like most 16-year-olds, worried about her appearance, what fake tan to wear, how her hair and nails looked and about ‘hot boys’ as Christina would call them!
“We would like to thank everyone for their kind words, flowers, teddies, balloons and candles – the support has been fantastic and shows what good, kind people there are in this world.
“We’d like to thank West Bromwich Albion for their half time tribute at the weekend and to the fans for their heartfelt applause which was very emotional.
“Finally we’d like to thank West Midlands Police for all the help and support they’ve given us through this difficult and distressing time.
“We’re relieved to hear a man will soon be charged and, hopefully, we can soon get justice for Christina.
“We’ve heard talk of protests in Christina’s name, clamouring for swift justice. But as a family we’d urge people to remain calm, be patient and let the legal process take its course.”
The family’s statement came as West Midlands Police were given permission to formally charge 22 year-old Phillip Simelane with Christina’s murder.
Simelane, from Walsall, West Mids., was arrested four hours after the attack and less than 100-yards away from the bus stop where it happened.
He was initially detained in a secure psychiatric under the Mental Health Act.
Christina was a pupil at Leasowes High School in Halesowen, West Mids. where she was described as a ‘bubbly, beautiful and intelligent’ teenager.
Police said she was killed in a “random” attack as a man got off the number nine bus at 7.30 am last Thursday.
Detective Superintendent Rich Baker, said today (tue): “This was a horrific, random attack and one that’s understandably shocked many people.
“I’m pleased to announce we now have authority to charge the suspect with murder.
“I’d like to thanks Christina’s family for their continued support and patience during our enquiry.
“Everyone wants to see justice for Christina and her family and from day one we’ve been determined to help deliver that justice for them.”