A paranoid schizophrenic has been found not guilty of murdering a seven-year-old schoolgirl who had her throat slit in broad daylight on Mother’s Day.
Little Emily Jones was killed in Queen’s Park in Bolton on March 22 as she rode her scooter.
Eltiona Skana, 30, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
A seven day trial Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard that Emily was killed as she played in the park.
The child had been riding to her mother when the defendant sprang from a bench, grabbed her and then sliced her across the neck with a craft knife she had bought that morning, the court was told.
Today, prosecution barrister Michael Brady QC told the jury that the Crown Prosecution Service would no longer pursue a murder charge and asked them to find Skana not guilty of that offence, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Addressing the jury he said the Crown had decided there was no longer a “realistic prospect” of securing a conviction for murder.
"This is not a decision that has been taken lightly," he said.
"It's a decision taken with care and mindful of the sensitivity of this case."
The jury was told that the decision to drop the murder charge had been made following evidence from from Dr Saifullah Syed Afghan – a consultant forensic psychiatrist who is treating Skana at Rampton Hospital.
He told the court that there was “no alternative” explanation for the accused’s actions besides previous reasoning that it was linked to psychosis brought on by her diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia.
The jury found Skana not guilty of murder and sentencing for manslaughter is expected next week.