Christina Edkins: School falls silent to remember pupil on fifth anniversary
The heartbroken family of Christina Edkins were joining pupils and teachers at her school for a minute’s silence on the fifth year anniversary of her death today.
The teenager was stabbed by paranoid schizophrenic Philip Simelane on the top deck of a bus while on her way to Leasowes High School in Halesowen.
Simelane, a paranoid schizophrenic, had been released from prison under no supervision just months prior the fatal attack.
Failings over the death by the NHS and Ministry of Justice have since been highlighted.
Today, at 11am, Christina’s family were joining pupils and teachers at Leasowes High School for a minute’s silence in her memory.
Flowers were being laid by her parents Jason and Kathleen at a memorial stone at the school.
The family were also due to visit Birmingham Cathedral, where Christina’s funeral was held, for midday prayers.
Her great uncle Chris Melia said: “It is an emotional day for the family who had their lives ripped apart on this day five years ago.”
Simelane, who had a history of mental health problems, was detained under the Mental Health Act after pleading guilty to manslaughter aged 23 in 2013.
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 set to take her GCSEs in the year she died, had hopes of becoming a nurse.