Man accused of murdering nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte appears in court

·2-min read

A 22-year-old man has appeared in court charged with murdering nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte who was found stabbed in the street.

Deividas Skebas was remanded into custody by a district judge at Lincoln Magistrates' Court on Monday, where he spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth during a two-minute hearing.

He was arrested on Saturday after a CCTV appeal following the death of Lilia in Boston, Lincolnshire, last Thursday.

Skebas, who appeared in a grey tracksuit, was told by District Judge Peter Deits "the offence you are facing is the most serious offence anyone can face in court".

Lilia died after she suffered what is believed to be a stab wound in Fountain Lane at about 6.20pm.

Skebas, a Lithuanian national, was detained after four CCTV images were released of a man detectives wanted to trace.

The pictures showed a man in the Wormgate and Fountain Lane area of Boston at 6.15pm on Thursday, five minutes before Lilia was found dead.

Police also said two people arrested earlier this week have been released with no further action.

Lilia had reportedly been playing with her younger sister on the street just yards from an office where their mother was working at the time.

The girls had a hula hoop, and a toy pram was left at the scene, according to local residents.

Skebas, of Boston, will appear at Lincoln Crown Court later on Monday.

Marko Iosif, nine, was in the same class as Lilia and said she was "always really enthusiastic and always happy".

He will remember his friend as "always taking care of others", he told Sky News.

Marko's father, Alin, said Lilia death was "terrifying" and "everyone is very scared".

He added that people "do not feel safe anymore" and parents are "scared to leave the kids in the street now".

Jurate Matulioniene, a family friend and chairwoman of the Boston Lithuanian Community, said Lilia loved dancing.

She told The Times: "Lilia was a beautiful angel, she was quite quiet and loved dancing.

"The family used to come to all of our community events and they would always stay late to help clear up.

"I have spoken to the mum and asked for her account details because we want to do a fundraiser but she would not accept it."