Birmingham & Black Country

Violence of Christina Edkins' killer was likely, report says

Christina Edkins Image copyright other
Image caption Christina Edkins was described by her parents as "bubbly, beautiful and intelligent"

The violent tendencies of a man who fatally stabbed a schoolgirl were predictable, a report into authorities' handling of the disturbed killer says.

Christina Edkins was 16 when she was killed by Phillip Simelane on a rush-hour bus in Birmingham in 2013.

The report found his history of "escalating" mental health problems and violence pointed to the "significant risk" he posed.

And it said it was plain his health would get worse.

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In 2013, Simelane, from Walsall, West Midlands, who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, admitted manslaughter over Ms Edkin's death and was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

Image copyright WEST MIDLANDS POLICE
Image caption Phillip Simelane would "continue to deteriorate" and was likely to reoffend, the report said

In 2014, a report found the teenager's death could have been prevented if her killer had been given mental health treatment.

The latest investigation - commissioned by NHS England - echoed the earlier report's conclusion that Ms Edkins' death was not itself predictable, nor was an attack on the public.

But the panel said it was clear Simelane would "continue to deteriorate" and was likely to reoffend - and violently so.

Old wounds

He had served time in prison for the assault and battery of his mother, killing Ms Edkins within three months of release from his second spell in jail.

In a statement, Ms Edkins' family said the report had "reopened old wounds" and rejected the view that death or serious harm to the public was not predictable, saying the facts - his violent history - did not "credibly" support it.

The family said it continued "to believe that failings within the NHS and Prison Service led directly to her death, which was both predictable and preventable".

Image copyright Edkins family
Image caption Ms Edkins' family has rejected the report's findings

NHS England has shared multiple episodes that mental health services and police were aware of, listing his "multiple risk factors" as a history of violence, threats to kill, and community release without access to mental health care.

Among those were Simelane throwing an electric fire at his mother's head and threatening to stab her. The report said on one occasion she made six calls to police in two days saying she was afraid he would kill her.

Chairman of the investigative panel Kiran Bhogal said: "The fact that there remains a risk that these vulnerable prisoners continue to be released from prison without adequate support and supervision leaving, them and the general public at risk, is of extreme concern."

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