Little girl, 7, was calling to her mum when stranger slit her throat in park, court hears

News

A seven-year-old girl was on her scooter in a park calling out to her mother when a stranger slit her throat, a murder trial has heard.

Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard Little Emily Jones had been brought to Queen’s Park in Bolton that Sunday afternoon by her father Mark Jones when she was attacked by Eltiona Skana.

Emily was calling out to her mother, Sarah Barnes, who was jogging around the park wearing headphones, moments before the attack on March 22 this year.

Michael Brady QC, opening the case for the prosecution, said: “Emily’s path towards her mum took her past the defendant who, as Emily scooted by, grabbed her and in one movement slit her throat with the craft knife and then threw her to the ground.

“There had been no interaction between Emily and the defendant.

“The wound was un-survivable and Emily died shortly thereafter.”

Skana is appearing at the trial via video-link from high security Rampton Hospital.

The 30-year-old has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies murder.

Mr Brady said at around 2.15pm that day Emily’s father took her to the park on her scooter while her mother had gone for a run.

At the same time Skana, originally from Albania, was sat alone on a park bench with the knife she had bought earlier that day.

Mr Brady said: “Emily, oblivious of the defendant, had seen her mother running in the distance and was scooting towards her, some yards ahead of her father.

“As she scooted along, she was heard to call out to her mother who was unable to hear her because of the distance between them and the fact that Ms Barnes had her headphones on.

“Emily’s path towards her mum took her past the defendant who, as Emily scooted by, grabbed her and in one movement slit her throat with the craft knife and then threw her to the ground.”

Skana then ran away but Tony Canty and his wife Lynsey, out for a walk in the park with their baby daughter, spotted the attack.

Mr Canty handed his baby daughter to his wife, ran after Skana, barged her to the ground and straddled her to detain her until police arrived.

Mr Brady said although it is accepted the defendant does have, and has had, mental health difficulties for a number of years, it is for the jury to decide whether this is a case of murder rather than manslaughter.

The trial is scheduled to last around five days.