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Man killed nine-year-old girl Lilia Valutyte as she played in street, as judge hands out indefinite hospital order
11 July 2023, 18:15
A man who stabbed nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte in the heart as she played on a Lincolnshire street has been given an indefinite hospital order.
A jury unanimously found Deividas Skebas had stabbed and killed the young girl in the heart in Boston on 28 July.
In a trial of the facts, Lincoln Crown Court heard how Lilia had been playing with a hula hoop outside the shop her mother worked in on Fountain Street, Lincolnshire Town, at the time.
The unanimous decision followed a court decision that Skebas, 23, was unfit to plead or face a conventional trial due to his mental health.
The jury consisting of six men and six women took just 30 minutes to make their decision on Tuesday.
The court heard how the Lithuanian national had travelled to the UK for a second time from his home country on 20 July last year.
He was seen buying a Sabatier paring knife from high street store Wilko, in Boston town centre, six days later.
Jurors were shown CCTV evidence showing a man running towards the nine-year-old before stabbing her and fleeing.
Prosecutor Christopher Donnellan KC told the jury: "He thrust the knife straight into her chest and through into her heart."
The court heard how despite the best efforts of attending paramedics and an off-duty police officer, Lilia was pronounced dead at 19:11.
Skebas was arrested two days later, with traces of Lilia's blood found on his grey Calvin Klein T-shirt, the court heard.
The paring knife was later discovered behind a radiator at his home by police.
The 23-year-old was handed an indefinite hospital order, with the judge deeming it was necessary in order to protect the public.
Lead investigator, Detective Chief Inspector Jennifer Lovatt from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), said: “This has been a heartbreaking case that has profoundly affected many people, from the officers in force, to the wider community and further afield.
"But mostly, the impact has been felt by Lilia’s family, who approach the one-year anniversary of her death.
"Our thoughts continue to be with Lilia’s family at this exceptionally difficult time and we ask that their privacy is respected.”