Emily Jones: Child's killer sentenced to life term in secure hospital

Image source, GMP
Image caption,
Eltiona Skana admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility

A woman who slit the throat of a "beautiful, spirited" seven-year-old girl in a park has been detained.

Eltiona Skana, 30, had admitted the manslaughter of Emily Jones in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Skana, who has paranoid schizophrenia, must serve at least eight years in a secure hospital, Minshull Street Crown Court was told.

If her mental illness improves she will go to prison, Mr Justice Wall said.

Skana got up from a park bench on 22 March and attacked the child with a craft knife as she went past on her scooter calling out to her mother, who she had spotted jogging in the park.

She admitted manslaughter after a murder charge was withdrawn partway through her trial last week.

She will serve the life sentence at high security Rampton Hospital in Nottinghamshire.

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Emily Jones "was our beautiful, spirited little girl" her family have said

Dr Victoria Sullivan, who treated Skana at a mental health unit in Manchester after her arrest, said the defendant's sister Klestora told them she had not been taking her anti-psychotic medication.

Following the sentencing, Emily's parents Sarah Barnes and Mark Jones said: "Emily was the beat in our hearts, the spring in our step and the reason we got up every morning.

"Emily was our beautiful, spirited little girl, a bundle of energy with an infectious personality.

"Our future has also been taken away, how can you enjoy life when the biggest part of it isn't there any more?

"We cannot move on, because at this time, we cannot see a future. We can only focus on today. It is literally one day at a time."

Media caption,
Eltiona Skana, 30, was arrested shortly after the attack

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