Albanian woman, 30, pleads guilty to stabbing seven-year-old girl to death in front of her horrified family on Mother’s Day – but denies murder
- Eltiona Skana, 30, pleaded guilty to unlawful killing at Manchester Crown Court
- Skana stabbed seven-year-old Emily Jones to death in Queen’s Park, Bolton
- Emily’s parents watched in horror following the attack on Mother’s Day this year
An Albanian woman, 30, has admitted stabbing a seven-year-old girl to death in front of her horrified parents on Mother’s Day this year, but denied murdering the ‘beautiful, intelligent girl’.
Eltiona Skana, 30, pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful killing during a brief hearing when she appeared at Manchester Crown Court via videolink from high-security Rampton Hospital in Nottinghamshire.
Emily, seven, was stabbed to death as she visited Queen’s Park in Bolton with her parents on March 22.
The only child died shortly after the apparently random attack.
Emily Jones’ parents witnessed their seven-year-old daughter being stabbed to death in Queen’s Park, Bolton, on Mother’s Day. Today Eltiona Skana, 30, pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful killing
Appearing at today’s hearing via videolink, Skana was accompanied by a member of her legal team at the hospital.
Skana, originally from Albania, pleaded not guilty to an alternative charge of the murder of the youngster on March 22 at Queen’s Park in Bolton.
Prosecuting lawyers have seven days to consider the plea.
A trial on the count of murder is scheduled to begin on November 23.
Speaking at a previous hearing, Judge Richard Mansell QC, addressed Emily’s father, saying: ‘I’m going to say something to you personally. I can’t imagine the pain you and your wife are going through at the moment.
‘You have my personal, deepest sympathy and I’m sure the deepest sympathy of everyone involved in the court process.
‘This case is clearly one that has a high priority.
‘You have my deepest sympathy for what is an unimaginable loss.’
In a moving tribute just days after her daughter’s loss, Emily’s mother Sarah Barnes set up a fundraising page.
Police carried out a search of Queen’s Park on March 23, the day after Emily Jones was stabbed to death in front of her parents. Her mother, Sarah Barnes described the seven-year-old as a ‘beautiful, intelligent girl’
The page, which has received more than £20,000 in donations, reads: ‘Emily was only 7 years old. Emily was such a happy, bubbly, beautiful and intelligent girl. An absolute joy to spend time with.
‘Emily was extremely sporty and adventurous, with so much energy. She packed so much into her short life. Emily loved to play tennis, she had swimming lessons, learned to horse ride.
‘Nothing phased Emily at all, and as such she looked forward to visiting the climbing walls in Keswick and loved hiking.’