Woman, 30, is charged with murder after seven-year-old was stabbed to death as she played in park on Mother’s Day
- Eltiona Skana, 30, has been charged with murder of seven-year-old Emily Jones
- Skana will appear before Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on May 26
- Emily was stabbed to death in a ‘random and unprovoked’ attack on March 22
A woman has been charged with the murder of a seven-year-old girl who was stabbed to death as she played in a park on Mother’s Day.
Eltiona Skana, 30, is accused of the murder of Emily Jones, who was killed in an ‘unprovoked and random’ attack in Queen’s Park, Bolton on Sunday, March 22.
Skana, who is understood to originally be from Albania, was arrested at the scene and later detained under the Mental Health Act.
She is also charged with possession of a bladed article and will appear before Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, May 26.
Police were called to Queen’s Park to reports a young girl had been stabbed at around 2.35pm on Mother’s Day, hours before coronavirus lockdown measures were announced by Boris Johnson.
Emily Jones, pictured, seven, was stabbed to death as she rode her scooter past a woman who was sat on a wooden bench at Queen’s Park in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on March 22
The young girl had been playing on her scooter when she was suddenly attacked by a stranger who stabbed her in the neck as she rode past a wooden bench, an inquest heard last month.
Emily, who had been with her parents at the park, was rushed to Salford Royal Hospital but was tragically pronounced dead at 3.56pm.
Acting senior coroner Alan Walsh opened an inquest into Emily’s death at Bolton Coroner’s Court last month and released her body to allow a funeral to take place.
He described Emily’s death as ‘one of the most tragic’ he has dealt with in 20 years as a coroner.
‘Emily was on her scooter playing. As she rode past a wooden bench, a female sat on the bench suddenly attacked Emily, stabbing her in the neck, causing catastrophic injury,’ police coroner’s officer Rebecca Gardner told the court.
‘Emily was taken to Salford Royal Hospital, but despite best efforts to save Emily her death was diagnosed at 15.56 hours that day.’
Police pictured in a cordoned-off area at Queen’s Park in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on March 23, where the seven-year-old was stabbed to death the previous day
Floral and cuddly toy tributes to the seven-year-old girl. Following her death, Emily’s parents paid tribute to her, describing their only child as the ‘light of our lives’
A post mortem found that Emily died as a result of an incised wound of the neck, the inquest heard.
Mr Walsh said: ‘I have been truly touched by the photographs of Emily that have been sent to me.
‘I send my heartfelt condolences to Emily’s family and friends, but particularly to her parents, who were present in the park and her father, who was nearby.
‘In my 20 years as a coroner this is one of the most tragic deaths that I have dealt with and the loss of a beautiful, innocent, lively, intelligent and lovely seven-year-old in these circumstances is an unimaginable tragedy.
‘I appreciate that Emily’s parents are beyond devastated and my sincere thoughts are with them at this enormously sad time.’
In a tribute given after Emily’s death, her parents 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.’
They described Emily as ‘our own little social butterfly’ who enjoyed time with friends and family, playing sports, the outdoors and ‘pink sparkly dresses’.
They added: ‘It is truly heartbreaking to wake up to a world without Emily in it and we cannot comprehend why this has happened.
‘We would like to thank the members of the public that assisted us in the park and express our gratitude to the emergency services for doing their utmost to save Emily’s life.’