Girl, 7, killed by stranger while scooting towards her mother, murder trial hears

A seven year-old girl was on her scooter in a park calling out to her mother when she was stabbed to death by a stranger in front of both her parents, a murder trial has heard.

Warning: Some readers may find language upsetting

Emily Jones had been taken to Queen’s Park in Bolton by her father Mark Jones on the Sunday afternoon of Mother’s Day earlier this year when she spotted her mother, Sarah Barnes, jogging.

Also in the park was Eltiona Skana, 30, who was sat alone on a bench with a craft knife which she had taken from a pack of three that she had bought earlier that day from a shop in Bolton town centre, said Michael Brady QC, opening the case for the prosecution.

“Emily, oblivious of the defendant, had seen her mother running in the distance and was scooting towards her, some yards ahead of her father,” he told a jury at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester.

“As she scooted along, she was heard to call out to her mother who was unable to hear her because of the distance between them and the fact that Ms Barnes had her headphones on.

“Emily’s path towards her mum took her past the defendant who, as Emily scooted by, grabbed her and in one movement slit her throat with the craft knife and then threw her to the ground.”

He said there had been no interaction between Emily and the defendant, who then ran away.

“The wound was unsurvivable and Emily died shortly thereafter,” he said.

Greater Manchester Police are appealing for witnesses

Emily was attacked in Queen’s Park, Bolton

Tony Canty and his wife Lynsey, who were out for a walk in the park with their baby daughter, spotted the attack.

Mr Canty handed his child to his wife, ran after Skana, barged her to the ground and straddled her to detain her until police arrived.

Skana, who is originally from Albania, is appearing at the court hearing via video link from Rampton Hospital in Nottinghamshire.

She pleaded guilty to manslaughter on 22 March, on the grounds of diminished responsibility, a partial defence to murder.

Mr Brady said although it is accepted the defendant does have, and has had, mental health difficulties for a number of years, it is for the jury to decide whether this is a case of murder rather than manslaughter.

The trial continues.

Lohit Soundarajan

Founder , Editor Tech Guy #Voxguy

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