The grandmother of a little girl who was stabbed to death set fire to a hotel while her relatives were inside the night of her daughter’s wedding.
Lilia Valutyte, nine, was killed after being assaulted on July 28 while playing in the street with her five-year-old sister in Boston, Lincolnshire.
Earlier this month, Lithuanian citizen Deividas Skebas, 22, was remanded in custody after an appearance before the Lincoln Crown Court charged with Lilia’s murder.
On Saturday, it emerged that he had been rushed to hospital after an attack on a prison cell.
Lilia was found with a stab wound outside her Lithuanian mother Lina Savicke’s embroidery shop, the embroidery and screen printing shop Sava Code, which opened in March.
Her grieving family is raising money for a statue to be built in her honor.
It has since emerged that Lilia would have been involved in a hotel fire in September 2019, started by her grandmother Inga Papstaitiine.
Inga Papstaitiene, pictured with granddaughter Lilia, set fire to a hotel in 2019 while the youngster was inside
The hotel fire happened on the night of Lilia’s mother’s wedding, after an argument broke out. Lilia Valutyte, pictured, was killed after being attacked on July 28 while playing in the street with her five-year-old sister in Boston, Lincolnshire.
Lina Savicke, Lilia’s mother, was also at the Lithuanian hotel when it was set on fire on her wedding night
In June, the 55-year-old grandmother was sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of arson by a Lithuanian court.
She started the hotel fire after an argument with her daughter Lina Savicke, Lilia’s mother, and her son-in-law Aurelijus Savickas, on their wedding day.
‘Lina’s parents didn’t approve of the marriage with Aurelijus. Her own mother tried to kill Lina and her family. It was horrible. And then to have your child killed before your very eyes… it’s impossible to believe. She has suffered so much,” said Mrs Savicke’s friend The Telegraph.
Papstaitiene denies arson and plans to appeal the verdict next month. She also claimed that her daughter Mrs Savicke and son-in-law Mr Savickas had attacked her.
She was accused of setting fire to the hotel where her mother, daughter and granddaughter slept.
She started the fire by setting fire to a box of plastic and glass and leaving it on a stove – with the gas on – the court was told.
Lilia and everyone in the hotel escaped without damage.
The Telegraph reported that Papstaitiene paid the building owner €500 not to report the fire.
However, the police opened an investigation after Lilia’s mother reported it.
Last week, the fruit picker accused of murdering Lilia was reportedly rushed to hospital after being beaten and assaulted by a cellmate who swung the shaft during a brutal attack on the prison.
The 22-year-old is said to have been held in Category A Wakefield Prison but was the victim of a vicious attack, The sun reported Saturday night.
He stayed in the hospital overnight before being returned to his cell the next day.
A source told the paper: ‘Skebas was beaten to a pulp and also cut with a makeshift shank weapon – probably a razor blade in a toothbrush.
Deividas Skebas, 22, pictured leaving Lincoln Crown Court, where he was taken into custody earlier this month
Lilia Valutyte was found with a stab wound outside her mother’s embroidery shop in Boston, Lincolnshire, where she was playing with her five-year-old sister
“People have been plotting against him for a while and Sunday they got their chance, with a few storming into his cell and ambushing him.
Security guards found him and acted very quickly, after which he was taken to hospital by air ambulance. Skebas has had a target on his back since his arrival – and really this attack was only a matter of time.”
Skebas was under constant surveillance after his return to prison.
A prison service spokesman said: ‘A detainee from HMP Wakefield was treated in hospital for injuries after an attack by another detainee.
“While the police are investigating, we can’t comment further.”
Nine-year-old girl’s death has left Boston locals ‘deep shock’
Skebas is next due to appear in court for a case for a plea and trial preparation hearing on September 19, when a preliminary trial date will be set.
Lilia’s death has sparked an outpouring of grief in a city known for its large Eastern European community.
A family friend described Lilia as “a nine-year-old angel” and “one of the most beautiful creatures,” adding, “No one will feel her mother’s pain. The girl was a ray of sunshine, just like her parents, who were the main helpers of our community and school events. The pain is unspeakable. We are shocked by this shocking news! Rest in peace, little angel.’
Skebas came from the industrial city of Utena in northeastern Lithuania, where his family still lives. A property overlooking Boston’s Central Park was searched by forensic officers last weekend.
Chief Inspector Martyn Parker described Lilia’s murder as “heartbreaking,” adding that the case “affected many people in Boston and beyond.”
Ms Savicke said a memorial to her daughter is one way to maintain her presence on the street she grew up in.
The grieving mother told the police: ‘Lilia grew up on that street, she spent every week there playing, and it happened next to the window.
“The memorial is a way for her to still be there, and we’re now raising funds to get it.”
Lilia Valutyte (pictured), aged nine, was mercilessly stabbed to death in front of her five-year-old sister on Fountain Lane in Boston, Lincolnshire, on July 28 in a murder that shook the nation.
An inquest has revealed that Lilia (pictured with her younger sister Liepa, aged three) died of a single stab wound and was identified by her stepfather
She added: “It’s hard to know what to say. She was just a normal kid, one day she’s happy and the next she’s not, one day she wants to eat pancakes and the next she doesn’t – the usual stuff.
“She loved dancing, traveling and trying new things, and irritating her sister. She wanted to go to Italy, so we’ll probably go next year anyway.’
Lilia was born at Boston Pilgrim Hospital and most recently attended Boston Pioneers Academy at Fydell Crescent.
Her stepfather, Mr. Savickas, added: ‘She was cheeky; quiet in one way and not in other ways. She always tried to joke.’
Plans for the statue will either feature the shape of an angel with Lilia’s face or take on her full likeness.
A close family friend has set up a fundraiser through a Just Giving call. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.
Ms Savicke said: ‘There are so many things we could say, but we’re not going to talk much about who she was and share those stories from our home; they are ours and we want to keep them to ourselves.
“You find yourself looking for her everywhere. We had four corners and now one is gone.’