Emily Jones: Dad of girl who was fatally stabbed faces killer in court, talks about the 'senseless' death of his only child
Eltiona Skana, 30, was given life sentence with a minimum of eight years for the killing of the little girl
December 8 was a very difficult day for Emily Jones' family as they came face to face with their daughter’s killer, Eltiona Skana, in Minshull Street Crown Court. The seven-year-old victim’s father, Mark, read a powerful victim impact statement as Skana -- a paranoid schizophrenic -- was awarded life sentence with a minimum of eight years. Reports said that the hybrid sentence of the 30-year-old woman, who slit Emily’s throat on March 22 in Queen's Park, Bolton, will be spent in the hospital. She will probably spend her remaining sentencing in the hospital until she is declared fit to go to jail.
The Sun reported that the devastated father read a powerful victim impact statement that stated, “How can you put into words how you feel about the senseless death of your only child? It is just too difficult to comprehend. 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. She was bright and funny, a kind child with not a mean bone in her body. Emily loved life and had not a care in the world. One smile from Emily and she had her daddy wrapped around her little finger. Emily was a loveable child, full of innocence and wonder."
Continuing further, he added: “She was just starting out on her path of life and her future has cruelly been cut so short. Our future has also been taken away. How can you enjoy life when the biggest part of it isn't there anymore. We will never see Emily grow and become the wonderful young lady we knew she would become, we will never see her hold her own child in her arms, as we held her. Emily brought out something special in everyone who was lucky enough to be in her life. The loss of Emily has had a profound and significant impact, not just on her family, but the whole community. Emily was someone's school friend, a play mate and of course a grand daughter and a niece and she meant something very special and unique to each and everyone of them. The last nine months have been spent in limbo. 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. We cannot understand why this has happened, we want people who are hearing this statement to understand that this should not have happened. How can an innocent child, playing in the park, be killed in such a violent and monstrous way?"
As reported previously, the girl was riding her scooter in the park when the murderer took out her craft knife to attack her in front of her father. When Mark first held Emily, he thought she fell from her scooter. But a woman present at the scene then screamed, “She's been stabbed." The child was soon taken to a hospital but her life could not be saved. At the time, her family paid an emotional tribute saying: “Emily was seven years old, our only child and the light of our lives. She was always full of joy, love and laughter. Emily had such a cheeky smile and was beautiful inside and out. She had a heart as big as her smile.”
Meanwhile, it has been said the Mother’s Day horror was not the first such incident perpetrated by Skana. Before the March 22 tragedy, she had also stabbed her own mother three years back. She had attacked her sister too in another incident.