Christina Edkins remembered during memorial event on fifth anniversary of her death

By Jamie Brassington | Halesowen | News | Published:

'It is very important to remember a precious life that was lost'.

Those are the heartfelt words of a school headteacher who paid tribute to former 16-year-old pupil Christina Edkins on the fifth anniversary of her death.

Christina was fatally stabbed by paranoid schizophrenic Philip Simelane on the top deck of a bus as she travelled to school in March 2013.

Simelane was detained under the Mental Health Act after pleading guilty to manslaughter aged 23 in 2013.

Her heartbroken family joined teachers and pupils at Leasowes High School in Halesowen during a special memorial event.

A wreath was laid at her memorial stone and a minute's silence was held today.

School headteacher Matthew Mynott said: "I think it is important for the school to continue to remember a precious life that was lost.

"As a school we will maintain that for many years. All the students from the school when Christina was a pupil have left but the staff are still here."

He added: "I remember being in the office on the day we were told about it. I don't think it will ever go from me. It will be carried through my career and will always be with me."


The school has set up a Christina Memorial Award which is given to best-performing students each year.

A sports award has also been set up in her name and is given to the best Year 11 netball player each year. Christina was a member of the school's netball team.

WATCH: A minute's silence is held in memory of Christina

Christina Edkins remembered during event at Halesowen school


Family and friends of Christina gathered on the school car park today in front of her memorial stone which was erected in December 2013.

Mr Mynott and the school's head boy Aaron James,16, and head girl Tamseel Naveed, 15, joined her parents Jason and Kathleen in laying a wreath.

A minute's silence was held by the school's pupils after the bell rang at 11am, and they observed words put forward by the headteacher.

Christina's great uncle Chris Melia said: "We appreciate what the school does in remembering Christina. It is very special that the school maintains this tradition and maintains the memorial of Christina.

"The family are very appreciative."

Just months before Christina's death, her attacker Simelane had been released from prison under no supervision.

An independent report published last year found major failings across the NHS and prison service over the handling of Simelane.

But the investigation by Niche Health and Social Care Consulting said the attack, although preventable, was not predictable.

It gave a list of 25 improvements to be carried out by agencies involved in Simelane’s care and custody.

Christina’s family has always maintained her death was predictable and claim ‘very few lessons’ have been learned.

Christina, who was 16, was set to take her GCSEs in the year she died, with hopes of becoming a nurse.

Mr Melia has backed the Express & Star's campaign calling for mandatory prison sentences for anyone caught in possession of an offensive weapon.

A petition has been launched as part of the campaign. To sign it, visit

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at


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