- Eltiona Skana denied murdering Emily Jones but pleaded guilty to manslaughter
- Emily was killed as she rode her scooter through a park in Bolton on Mother’s Day
- The seven-year-old was running towards her mother when Skana stabbed her
- Prosecution today dropped the case due to no realistic prospect of a conviction
- Skana, 30, who has paranoid schizophrenia, will be sentenced for manslaughter
A woman who stabbed a schoolgirl to death in front of her parents in a park on Mother’s Day has been found not guilty of her murder today.
Emily Jones was calling to her mother as she rode towards her in Queen’s Park, Bolton, when Eltiona Skana used a craft knife to slash the seven-year-old’s neck.
The 30-year-old paranoid schizophrenic pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but was charged with murder.
But on the seventh day of her trial at Manchester Crown Court, the jury was told the prosecution were discontinuing the case.
In a dramatic move, prosecutor Michael Brady QC said there was now no realistic prospect of a conviction and the judge asked the jury to formally return a not guilty verdict.
The court has heard in harrowing detail how Emily’s father thought she had fallen over before realising she had been stabbed, and how he and her mother were forced to watch as paramedics battled to save their daughter’s life.
The prosecution had alleged that Skana planned the killing, buying a knife and selecting a victim in the park and was hiding behind her mental condition.
After her arrest, Skana told doctors: ‘It was premeditated, I waited in a park and picked my victims, I did what I did then tried to run away.’
Skana had arrived in the UK in 2014 after her sister paid an agent to smuggler her via Italy and France, in a lorry. She was initially refused asylum, before being granted to leave to remain in the country.