A 28-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a young mother-of-three in a taxi in Birmingham on his birthday.
Junior Saleem Oakes is accused of stabbing Natasha Trevis to death in the city's Northfield area on Tuesday morning.
Relatives of the 22-year-old victim sobbed in the public gallery as Oakes appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.
Oakes, of Dimsdale Road, Northfield, Birmingham, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address during the brief hearing. Dressed in a grey hooded top, he kept his head bowed for much of his appearance.
Miss Trevis, who had two daughters aged three and 18 months and a seven-month-old son, was stabbed repeatedly in the attack and died at the scene.
Her friend Trevor Titley told the Birmingham Mail: “It’s just shocking, I can’t believe this could happen to her.
“She was the most innocent, happy-go-lucky girl."
Neighbours in Dimsdale Road, where the incident happened, said paramedics worked for 30 minutes to try to save the young mother. An ambulance service spokesman said she was in cardiac arrest when crews arrived.
Speaking outside court, Miss Trevis's father, Tony Trevis, said: "She was a beautiful, happy-go-lucky girl, she doted on her kids. I'm in shock, it's too unreal to sink in. It's going to hit me sooner or later but I am trying to be strong for the kids."
The 47-year-old grandfather, from Kingstanding, Birmingham, added: "The kids know Mummy has gone to heaven but that's all. How do you tell them this?"
He said Miss Trevis and Oakes had been in an "on-off" relationship for five years.
Oakes was remanded in custody to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday morning.