A man has appeared in court charged with murdering a nine-year-old girl as she played in the street with her younger sister.
Deividas Skebas, a Lithuanian national, is accused of killing Lilia Valutyte in Boston, Lincolnshire, on 28 July.
The schoolgirl was found with a stab wound in Fountain Lane, Boston, Lincolnshire, at about 6.20pm.
An inquest opening later heard she died from the wound to her chest and was confirmed dead at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital.
Appearing via video-link at Lincoln Crown Court on Friday, Mr Skebas, 22, was due to enter a plea but the case was adjourned for reports.
A provisional trial date was set for 28 February during the 25-minute hearing.
The defendant was initially due to be brought to court from the prison where he is being held on remand.
But Christopher Donnellan KC, prosecuting, told Judge Christopher Hirst “the defendant has not been produced”.
After a brief delay, Skebas, of Thorold Street, Boston, appeared over a video-link to court, wearing a grey sweatshirt and holding his hands in his lap.
A pre-trial review date was set for 28 November.
Setting a provisional trial date with a time estimate of up to seven days, Judge Hirst told Skebas: “Your trial will be held on 28 February, next year.
“It’s right to say we’ll try to find a (earlier) trial date in January.”
Additional reporting by Press Association