The devastated parents of Christina Edkins have spoken of the loss of their “beautiful, bright and caring girl who was loved by everyone.’’
Jason and Kathleen Edkins said they were still battling to come to terms with the senseless death of their youngest child, who was killed just two weeks after celebrating her 16th birthday.
Christina had been on her way to Leasowes High School in Halesowen when Phillip Simeline fatally stabbed her in the chest.
The couple, speaking on behalf of the wider family, including Christina’s older brother Ryan, 18, and sister Joanne, 24, said: “To find ourselves in this position is both alien and deeply traumatic - especially for us as parents.
“An ordinary, quiet and hardworking family has experienced the horror, distress and pain associated with such a devastating crime.
“Christina was a beautiful, bright, caring girl who was loved by everyone.
“We have been touched by many special messages from people who knew Christina and tributes from her teachers and friends in the school yearbook have been deeply moving.
"Her headmaster said 'If a school could choose its pupils it would be full of Christinas'.”
The mum and dad, from Ladywood, added: “Nothing will restore Christina to us.
“The family are all innocent victims and must pay the penalty as we stand by helplessly and watch the lives of people we love shattered like precious glass, knowing we can never put the pieces back together.
“The hearing brings an element of resolution in that the custodial sentence means that the public is protected from this man.
“However, he was allowed the freedom not only to take the life of an innocent child, but in doing so, to ensure that the lives of the people whom she loved are forever affected as a result.”