Woman who slit throat of girl, 7, sentenced to life imprisonment in hospital

Paranoid schizophrenic Eltiona Skana, 30, has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of eight years, in order to be hospitalized for reduced-responsibility manslaughter of Emily Jones, seven years old, in a park in Bolton on Mother’s Day.

Skana got up from a park bench and slit Emily’s throat with a craft knife as the girl walked past her scooter and called out to her mother, whom she had seen jogging in the park.

The defendant, who was originally from Albania, had a long history of mental illness and had not taken her antipsychotics.

She confessed to reduced-responsibility manslaughter after a murder charge was dropped midway through her trial at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, last week.

Skana will serve her sentence at high-security Rampton Hospital and if her mental illness improves she will be transferred to prison, said Mr Justice Wall, who issued her sentence.

Emily had been taken by her father, Mark Jones, on Mother’s Day afternoon, Sunday March 22, by her father Mark Jones to Queen’s Park in Bolton 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, 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.