United Kingdom

Schizophrenic woman not guilty of murdering girl, 7, stabbed to death in park

A woman who admitted killing a seven-year-old in a random attack in a park on Mother's Day will no longer be tried for murder after prosecutors announced they will drop the charge.

Eltiona Skana had denied murdering Emily Jones but pleaded guilty to manslaughter at an earlier hearing.

The 30-year-old will now face sentencing for manslaughter, although this is not expected to take place today. 

Emily was killed by Skana as she was riding her scooter through Queen's Park, Bolton, on Mother's Day, on March 22.

Emily Jones was killed by Skana as she was riding her scooter through Queen's Park, Bolton, on Mother's Day

The seven-year-old had been riding to meet her mother when the defendant sprang from a bench, grabbed her and cut her throat 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.

Speaking to the jury at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court, he said the prosecution had decided that was 'no longer any realistic prospect of conviction' for murder.

'This is not a decision that has been taken lightly by the Crown,' he said.

'It's a decision taken with care and mindful of the sensitivity of this case.'

The seven-year-old had been riding to meet her mother when the defendant sprang from a bench, grabbed her and cut her throat with a craft knife she had bought that morning. Pictured, officers at the scene

He explained that the decision to drop the charge had come following evidence from Dr Saifullah Syed Afghan - a consultant forensic psychiatrist who is treating Skana at Rampton Hospital.

He told the court he had no 'alternative' explanation for her actions on March 22, aside from previous explanations of psychosis brought on by her diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia.

The jury then found Skana not guilty of murder.

The sentencing for manslaughter is expected to take place next week.

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