Woman who slit girl's throat in park cleared of murder on mental health grounds

Stuart Henderson
·2-min read
Emily Jones, left, was stabbed at Queen's Park, Bolton. (PA/SWNS)
Emily Jones, left, was stabbed at Queen's Park, Bolton. (PA/SWNS)

A paranoid schizophrenic has been cleared of murdering a seven-year-old girl in a park after admitting slashing her throat.

Eltiona Skana admitted the manslaughter of Emily Jones on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denied murdering her.

A court heard Jones was in Queen’s Park, Bolton with her father, Mark Jones, when she rode her scooter past Skana to her mother Sarah Barnes on 22 March – Mother’s Day.

Skana grabbed Jones, cut her throat with a craft knife and ran off before a member of the public stopped her.

A seven-year-old girl has died following a stabbing in a park and a woman in her 30s has been arrested, it has been reported.  See SWNS story SWLEstabbing.  The tragic youngster was reportedly stabbed in Queen's Park in Bolton, Gtr Manchester, earlier today (Sun).  Emergency services flooded the scene and cops put the 22 acre park, just north of Bolton town Centre, on lockdown just before 3pm.  All entrances to the park were taped off and families were told to leave the area as forensic officers carried out investigations at the scene.  Around ten police cars flocked to the scene and the North West Air Ambulance attended the park as medics desperately tried to save the youngster's life.  Eyewitnesses say they saw the victim being given CPR as two adults stood "covered in blood" nearby.
An air ambulance was dispatched. (SWNS)
The Police at the scene this morning at Queen's Park in Bolton, Gtr Manchester 23 March 2020. Where a seven-year-old girl was stabbed to death in a park and a woman in her 30s has been arrested .The tragic youngster was reportedly stabbed in Queen's Park in Bolton, Gtr Manchester, on Sunday 22.
Jones was attacked at Queen's Park in Bolton. (SWNS)

The schoolgirl was rushed to hospital but later pronounced dead.

The defendant, originally from Albania, was detained under the Mental Health Act.

On Friday, prosecutors offered no further evidence in her trial and withdrew the charge after hearing from a consultant forensic psychiatrist who treated Skana at Rampton Hospital, a high security unit.

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Michael Brady QC, prosecuting, told Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester that there was no realistic prospect of a murder conviction and the judge told the jury to return a not guilty verdict.

They had questioned if Skana’s mental health was a “convenient excuse” for the killing.

The court previously heard she told a nurse: “It was premeditated, I waited in a park and picked my victim, I did what I did then tried to run away.”

Emily Jones was stabbed while playing in the park, an inquest heard. (SWNS)
Emily Jones was stabbed while playing in the park, an inquest heard. (SWNS)

However, the conversation took place when she was not taking her anti-psychotic medication, the court heard.

Asked about her mental health, Dr Syed Afghan, a consultant at Rampton, said: “Violence while under psychosis, while she’s been psychotic she’s been violent, yes.”

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Her parents previously said: “Emily was seven-years-old, our only child and the light of our lives.

“She was always full of joy, love and laughter.

“Emily had such a cheeky smile and was beautiful inside and out. She had a heart as big as her smile.”

Justice Wall will sentence Skana for manslaughter on Tuesday.

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