Man, 29, appears in court charged with murder of 'doting' mum, 29, stabbed to death with four-month-old baby in her arms

A MAN has appeared in court charged with the murder of a "doting" mum, who was stabbed to death with her four-month-baby in her arms.

Lewis Crofts, 29, is accused of the murder of mum Kimberley Deakin, 29.

Kimberley fled across a street in Stoke, Staffordshire on Friday afternoon and yelled "help, help" while covered in blood and carrying her daughter.

She later collapsed and died.

Crofts appeared at North Staffordshire Justice Centre this morning via video link from prison.

Wearing a grey sweatshirt, Crofts showed no emotion and appeared relaxed as he confirmed his name, date of birth and address.

He was remanded in custody to appear at Stafford Crown Court on Wednesday.

Cops said Crofts and Kimberley knew each other.

Yesterday, Kimberley's devastated friends and family hugged each other and wiped away tears as they visited the place where she was was killed.

They looked at the house in Burslem where the incident took place.

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."

A Staffordshire Police spokesperson said: "[Kimberley's] family are being supported by specially-trained officers at this time and we would kindly urge people to respect their privacy.

"A Home Office post mortem examination found the cause of Kimberley's death to be stab wounds."


Neighbours spoke about the horrific scenes of Friday afternoon.

Sarah Horvath, 32, told The Sun Online: "Apparently she ran across the road with the baby in her arms.

"Some people said she was covered in blood when she ran. It's just terrible but thankfully the baby is fine and with relatives.

"No one really knows her very well as she only moved in a few months ago. I think she was pregnant when she moved in."

Next-door neighbour Ken Bradshaw, 77, said: "I know Kim has only been there for a few months.

"She seemed a lovely lady and the man moved in after the baby was born.

"I didn't hear anything but when I looked out I saw a neighbour with the baby in her arms.

"It comes as a real shock."

Another neighbour said: "She was shouting for help and ran across the road to get away. It's horrible.

A neighbour who did not wish to give his name, said: "I saw all the police in the street. People look stunned."

Tributes and flowers were left at the scene on Saturday.

June Cartwright, who lives near to the scene, said: "This is such an awful thing to have happened and the community is in shock. My thoughts are with the woman's family."

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