Man in court after girl, 9, stabbed to death while playing hula-hoop in street
A man has appeared in court after a nine-year-old girl was allegedly stabbed to death while playing hula-hoop in street.
Lithuanian national Deividas Skebas, who has been charged with murdering Lilia Valutyte, today appeared at Lincoln Crown Court.
The girl was found with a stab wound to her chest in Fountain Lane, Boston, Lincolnshire, on 28 July.
Skebas, 22, appeared before Judge Simon Hirst by video-link from Wakefield Prison.
Wearing a grey top and a with a black beard, he spoke only to confirm his name via a Lithuanian interpreter, and sat with his arms folded during the ten minute hearing.
No plea was entered to the murder charge and Judge Hirst adjourned the case for a provisional trial date before Mrs Justice Tipples in the week beginning 28 February next year.
Judge Hirst remanded Skebas back into custody and told him: “Your trial will take place on 28 February. It is right to say we will try and get an earlier date in January
“In the meantime you are remanded in custody.”
Lilia suffered the stab wound as she played in the street in broad daylight.
Skebas, a 22-year-old fruitpicker will next appear at Lincoln Crown Court for a pre-trial hearing on 28 November.
The Mirror previously reported the schoolgirl was carried to St Botolph’s Church with her funeral procession making its way through Boston town centre.
Swathes of people from the local community who were left shaken by her death turned out to pay their respects.
Her coffin was brightly decorated with dozens of 3D butterflies while the horses were seen wearing pink feather headdresses.
One mourner, Magdalene Lowe, 78, shared a moving message for Lilia’s family and said: “I’m very sad and I wish there was more I could do. Just coming here helps.
“We are all thinking about her and her family. If you ever need help, we are there for you.”
The service was then followed by a private burial attended only by Lilia’s family.
Lilia’s family previously described her as a “cheeky” child who “always tried to make fun”.
Mum Lina said: “It’s hard to know what to say. She was just a normal child, one day she’s happy and another she isn’t, one day she wants to eat pancakes and another she doesn’t – the usual things.
“She loved to dance, travel and try new things.
“She wanted to go to Italy, so we will probably go anyway next year.”
She added: “There are so many things we could say, but we are not going to talk a lot about who she was and share those stories from our home; they are ours and we want to keep them for us,” said Lina.
“You find yourself looking for her everywhere. We had four corners and now one is gone.”
Stepfather Aurelijus previously said: “She was cheeky; quiet in one way and then other ways she wasn’t. She always tried to make fun.”