A man identified as Lewis Crofts has been charged, accused of killing a mum Kimberley Deakin in a brutal killing, while she held her four-month-old baby.
Kimberley, who lived in Burslem, was discovered with stab wounds in the city of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire on Leigh Street, just before 4.45 pm on Friday afternoon. Emergency officials tried to save the young woman’s life, but she was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. Although a Staffordshire Police spokesman said ‘formal identification of the woman is still to take place’ by authorities, the family has identified her as Kimberley Deakin, Mirror.co.uk reported.
Witnesses said Deakin was covered in blood as she fled onto the street screaming ‘help, help’ while carrying her four-month-old daughter following an unknown disturbance at a house.
Kimberley fled across the street to her neighbours’ homes in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs. Begging for aid, banging on doors before collapsing and eventually dying from her severe injuries.
Police say they believe the crime was premeditated and Crofts, 39, of Broadstone, Dorset, was known to the victim. However, authorities have not expanded on how the victim and suspect are connected to one another, but the man is suspected of having been her boyfriend.
Crofts has been charged with murder and faces trial before the North Staffordshire Justice Centre Crown Court on Monday morning (9th November.)
Family and friends paid their tributes to Kimberley, laying flowers on her grave following the shocking incident.
One neighbour told The Sun Online: ‘She seemed a doting mum who really loved her baby girl. You would see her smiling and talking to her.
She was obviously a very loving mum. It’s tragic and must be devastating for her family.
‘I think the boyfriend only moved in a few weeks ago.’
Kim’s family are continuing to be supported by specially trained officers from Staffordshire Police, Stokesentinel.co.uk reported.
The family of Kim has asked to be left alone as they grieve their loss.
‘The family cannot express in words their sorrow and pain at losing their beloved Kim’ the family said in a statement released via the police.
The statement goes on to say, ‘She was kind, caring and loved by many. Kim had recently become an adoring mother to Ava and can never be replaced in our hearts. We would like to ask for privacy to be allowed to grieve in peace.’
A Home Office post-mortem examination found the cause of Kimberley’s death to be stab wounds.
Police are unsure at this very moment why the stabbing occurred and are asking the public with any information to call Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 430 of 6th November or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.