Emily Jones murder: Woman who slit 7-year-old girl's throat in front of her parents found NOT guilty of murder

The jury at Manchester Crown Court was told on the seventh day of the 30-year-old’s trial that the prosecution was not moving further with the case


                            Emily Jones murder: Woman who slit 7-year-old girl's throat in front of her parents found NOT guilty of murder
Emily Jones (Greater Manchester Police)

A woman who slit the throat of a young girl in a park on Mother’s day this year has been found not guilty of her murder. Eltiona Skana fatally stabbed Emily Jones on March 22 when she was riding her scooter in Queen's Park, Bolton. The paranoid schizophrenic pled guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility, but she was charged with murder. However, the jury at Manchester Crown Court was told on the seventh day of the 30-year-old’s trial that the prosecution was not moving further with the case.

Prosecutor Michael Brady QC informed the jury about the prosecution’s decision that they have finalized there was “no longer any realistic prospect of conviction” for killing. “This is not a decision that has been taken lightly by the Crown. It's a decision taken with care and mindful of the sensitivity of this case,” Brady added. After the prosecution barrister’s statement, the jury found Skana not guilty of murder. However, she is expected to be sentenced for manslaughter next Tuesday, December 8.

The prosecution has earlier alleged that Skana’s crime was well-planned as she allegedly bought a knife and chose a victim in the park. They also said that she was using her mental condition to avoid jail. Even Skana herself reportedly told doctors after her arrest that the murder was “premeditated”. “I waited in a park and picked my victims, I did what I did then tried to run away,” she allegedly stated at the time.

A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said, “The CPS has a duty to keep cases under continuing review and, following a further review, we concluded there was no longer sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction for a murder charge. Eltiona Skana pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and will be sentenced for that offense at a later date. We met with Emily's family earlier today to explain the reasons for our decision. This is a very tragic case and all our thoughts are with them at this time.”

This comes days after Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester was told Skana, who is originally from Albania, was not taking her anti-psychotic medication when she killed the child. At the time, prosecutor Brady cast doubt on the claims as he said her paranoid schizophrenia is the reason behind the incident or "a convenient excuse behind which to hide".

Dr Victoria Sullivanm, who treated Skana after her arrest said the woman’s sister Klestora came "distressed” at a medium secure mental health in Manchester.  “She told us Miss Skana had been missing days in her medication. She had had mental health difficulties for a number of years, she intermittently did not take her medication and had been a risk to other people,” Sullivan said, before adding, “I suspected she had either not been taking medication in the community or it had for some reason stopped working."

Another doctor, Dr Suhanthini Farrell, who monitored Skana, also described her as "clean, well-kempt," who maintained fixed, staring eye contact and was "guarded and suspicious" with a "tone of hostility and increasing irritability". But the doctor also added: “It did feel she was thinking carefully about the answers she was giving, rather than responding intuitively, naturally. She was composing her answers, then giving it. My impression was that there were active psychotic symptoms. The symptoms were subtle. Objectively she did appear to be paranoid."

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