Woman who slit throat of girl, 7, in park cleared of murder

A paranoid schizophrenic who admitted to slitting the throat of a seven-year-old girl in a park has been acquitted of murder after the prosecutor presented no further evidence and dropped the charges.

Eltiona Skana, 30, had admitted Emily Jones’ manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but was on trial after pleading not guilty to murder.

After hearing evidence on Thursday from a consultant forensic psychiatrist who treated Skana at high-security Rampton Hospital, the murder charge was dropped on Friday and the jury ordered a formal not guilty verdict to be returned.

Michael Brady QC, the prosecutor, told Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester that there was no realistic prospect of a conviction on the murder charge.

Judge Justice Wall will convict Skana on Tuesday for manslaughter.

Emily had been taken by her father Mark Jones to Queen’s Park in Bolton on Mother’s Day afternoon, Sunday March 22, and was riding her scooter when she saw her mother, Sarah Barnes, jogging.

The boy called to her mother as she slid past a park bench where Skana was sitting, alone and armed with a craft knife.

Skana got up, grabbed Emily, and slit her throat before walking away.

The defendant, who was originally from Albania, was later detained under the Mental Health Act.

The prosecution alleged that although it was accepted that the defendant has and has had mental health problems for a number of years, it was up to the jury to decide whether this was a case of murder rather than manslaughter and wondered if Skana was health a “handy excuse” for her actions.