Emily Jones had her throat slit in a park in Bolton on Mother’s Day (Picture: MEN Media / PA)
A woman has been found not guilty of murdering a seven-year-old girl who had her throat slit in a park on Mother’s Day.
Emily Jones was killed in Queen’s Park, Bolton on March 22 this year.
Eltiona Skana, 30, denied murder but had previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Prosecution solicitors announced this morning they will drop the murder charge – and a jury then found her not guilty of murder.
Skana will now face sentencing for manslaughter, although this will take place at a later date.
A jury at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard, over the course of a seven-day trial, how Emily was killed by Skana as she was riding her scooter through the park on March 22 this year.
The child had been going to meet her mum when the defendant sprang from a waiting bench, grabbed her and then sliced her across the neck with a craft knife she had bought that morning.
The jury was told today the Crown Prosecution Service would no longer pursue a murder charge, and asked them to find Skana not guilty of that offence.
Skana, who killed seven-year-old Emily Jones, will now face sentencing for manslaughter (Picture: MEN Media)
Prosecution barrister Michael Brady QC said there was ‘no longer any realistic prospect of conviction’ for murder.
‘This is not a decision that has been taken lightly by the Crown,’ he added.
‘It’s a decision taken with care and mindful of the sensitivity of this case.’
He explained 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, aside from previous psychosis brought on by her diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia.
The sentencing for manslaughter is expected to take place next week.
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