Lilia Valutyte was pronounced dead at the scene (Picture: PA)
A jury has been shown CCTV footage of the moment a nine-year-old girl was stabbed to death in broad daylight during the trial of the man accused of her murder.
Lilia Valutyte died from a single stab wound to the heart as she played outside a shop where her mum was working in Boston, Lincolnshire, last year.
The suspect, Deividas Skebas, is undergoing a trial of facts rather than a traditional criminal trial because he is not fit to plead or stand.
Before the trial began on Monday judge Mrs Justice McGowan DBE told the jury: ‘You are not going to be asked to say guilty or not guilty because this is not a normal trial.
‘The defendant in this case is seriously mentally ill and he is not here and can’t play a proper part in the trial.
‘It has already been decided that he is unfit to plead because of his mental illness.
‘What you are going to be asked to do is not to say whether he is guilty or not guilty but whether he is responsible for the acts.
‘This is a serious and sad case and you will be reminded a number of times to try and put emotion to one side.
‘It is important that when you come to decide whether or not you are sure he did it that however sad you found the case, you put that to one side and make a logical and clear decision.’
She was only nine years old (Picture: PA)
She was playing in the street outside a shop when she was attacked (Picture: PA)
Opening the trial at Lincoln crown court, prosecutor Christopher Donnellan KC showed the jury of six men and six women a video showing a man, alleged to be Skebas, running towards Lilia before stabbing her and running away.
He said Skebas, 23, first came to the UK from Lithuania in 2020, returning to his home country before coming back to the UK in July 2022.
After arriving in Boston he was seen on CCTV buying a paring knife from a Wilko shop in the town centre two days before the killing.
In one clip, moments before her death, Lilia was seen playing outside the shop in which her mother worked, with the man whom the Crown claims was Skebas seen standing at the top of Fountain Lane.
The man, in a grey T-shirt and jeans, was then seen walking towards his victim, with Lilia moving out of the way as he approached before he stabbed her and ran away.
Mr Donnellan said: ‘Just after 6.15pm in the late afternoon, early evening of July 28 last year, Lilia Valutyte, a little girl aged nine, was playing outside a shop where her mother was actually working in Boston town centre.
‘The defendant, Mr Skebas, approached, quickening his pace as he moved towards (her), then reaching behind his back.
‘He pulled out a knife. He continued with his pace. He thrust the knife straight into her chest and through into her heart.
‘Although within less than a minute an off-duty police officer who was just going home and was nearby came to her aid, and was followed by other officers and the ambulance, sadly her life could not be saved and she was formally pronounced dead at 7.11pm that evening.
‘The prosecution case is that he unlawfully killed her with that single stab wound to the chest.
‘You are only deciding whether he did it. You don’t have to decide about his intention or indeed about his mental state.’
Police issued this CCTV image during their appeal for information (Picture: PA)
Lilia’s coffin was covered in butterflies (Picture: PA)
Skebas ran past Detective Constable Andrew Pearson, who was off-duty at the time.
Giving evidence, DC Pearson said he heard a ‘metallic clank’ and was about to chase the man who ran past him before he heard an ‘anguished scream’ from behind him.
Skebas was arrested on July 30 after a public appeal. He was interviewed a day later but gave what Mr Donnellan described as a ‘bizarre’ explanation for the killing.
Mr Donnellan said: ‘He admitted that he had stabbed Lilia. He admitted he has seen (her) playing in the street. He identified himself in the CCTV extracts.’
A search of Skebas’s home in Thorold Street, Boston, found a paring knife deemed consistent with the murder weapon.
The trial is estimated to last two days, but he did not appear on Monday and will play no part in proceedings.
Andrew Campbell-Tiech KC, appointed by the court to mitigate on the defendant’s behalf, told the jury: ‘We have a highly emotive case where the desire to blame runs very high.
‘The more horrendous the case, the greater the desire to blame. The greater the pressure to blame, the greater the risk to attach it to an individual identified.
‘We are not in a position to challenge evidence because we have no instructions.
‘We are appointed by the court to test that evidence.’
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