A woman has been found not guilty of murdering a seven-year-old girl who had throat slit in park on Mother’s Day.
Emily Jones was killed in Queen’s Park, Bolton on March 22 this year.
Eltiona Skana, 30, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
She will now face sentencing for manslaughter, although this is not expected to take place today.
Over the course of a seven-day trial at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court, a jury heard Emily was killed by Skana as she was riding her scooter through Queen’s Park, Bolton, on March 22, of this year.
The child had been riding to meet her mother when the defendant sprang from a waiting bench, grabbed her and then sliced her across the neck with a craft knife she had bought that morning, the court has already been told.
Today, prosecution barrister Michael Brady QC told the jury that the Crown Prosecution Service would no longer pursue a murder charge and asked them to find Skana not guilty of that offence.
Speaking to the jury, he said the prosecution had decided that was ‘no longer any realistic prospect of conviction’ for murder.
“This is not a decision that has been taken lightly by the Crown,” he said.
“It’s a decision taken with care and mindful of the sensitivity of this case.”
He explained that the decision to drop the charge had come following evidence from Dr Saifullah Syed Afghan – a consultant forensic psychiatrist who is treating Skana at Rampton Hospital.
He told the court he had no ‘alternative’ explanation for her actions on March 22, aside from previously explanations of psychosis brought on by her diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia.
The jury then found Skana not guilty of murder.
The sentencing for manslaughter is expected to take place next week.