UK

Man who stabbed nine-year-old girl to death given indefinite hospital order

Lilia Valutyte died from a single stab wound to the chest (Lincolnshire Police/PA)
Lilia Valutyte died from a single stab wound to the chest (Lincolnshire Police/PA)

A man who killed a nine-year-old girl by stabbing her in the heart as she played in the street has been given an indefinite hospital order.

Deividas Skebas knifed Lilia Valutyte once in the chest in Fountain Lane, Boston, Lincolnshire, last summer, a jury has ruled.

The 23-year-old was deemed unfit to plead or face a conventional trial due to his mental health and was the subject of a two-day trial of the facts at Lincoln Crown Court.

On Tuesday, Skebas was detained in a secure hospital for an indefinite period – the only sentence the court could pass – hours after jurors returned their determination after about 15 minutes of deliberation.

Judge Mrs Justice McGowan DBE said: “On July 28 2022, Deividas Skebas can be seen on CCTV footage taking a knife from the pocket of his jeans, running down the road and stabbing Lilia Valutyte as she played in the street.

“He then ran away. Lilia died from one stab wound to the heart.

“The grief and suffering of her family has been beyond imagination.”

She added: “Given the fact that (Skebas) has been found to have killed a child, I am of the opinion that the only appropriate way to deal with the case is to make an order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

“Therefore I make an order that he be readmitted to and detained at Rampton Hospital.”

The judge also ordered a restriction under section 41 of the Mental Health Act, which means Skebas can only be discharged from hospital if the Justice Secretary approves it.

“Accordingly, I make a hospital order without restriction of time,” she said.

Deividas Skebas appearing for an earlier court hearing at Lincoln Crown Court (Joe Giddens/PA)
Deividas Skebas appearing for an earlier court hearing at Lincoln Crown Court (Joe Giddens/PA)

Jurors were not asked to deliver a guilty or not guilty verdict or determine if Skebas intended to kill – instead only determining if he physically did what he was accused of.

Skebas attacked Lilia eight days after returning to the UK for a second time from his home country of Lithuania, the court was told.

The jury was shown CCTV of him running towards the girl as she played outside a shop in which her mother was working at about 6.15pm on July 28.

He pulled a knife from behind his back and stabbed her once in the chest before running away.

Lilia was declared dead at 7.11pm at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital.

Lilia's family said 'We had four corners and now one is gone' following her death (Lincolnshire Police/PA)
Lilia’s family said it ‘had four corners and now one is gone’ (Lincolnshire Police/PA)

Prosecutor Christopher Donnellan KC said a Sabatier paring knife, bought by Skebas two days before the killing in the town’s Wilko shop, was later found at his home in Thorold Street, Boston.

A T-shirt, stained with Lilia’s blood, was also found, and Skebas, in an interview with police, admitted stabbing the schoolgirl.

Skebas was not present for his sentencing, did not attend the trial and did not play any part in proceedings.

He may face a conventional trial for murder if his mental health improves.