By Tara Rippin • 08 December 2020 • 18:10
Woman jailed for life for fatally stabbing Emily Jones, 7, on Mother’s Day.
Eltiona Skana, 30, has been sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of eight years, for knifing the schoolgirl to death as she rode her scooter in a Bolton park.
Skana had pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
In a moving impact statement in tribute to their daughter, parents Sarah and Mark said: “Emily was the beat in our hearts, the spring in our step and the reason we got up every morning.
“Emily was our beautiful, spirited little girl, a bundle of energy with an infectious personality.
Emily had been taken to Queen’s Park in Bolton by her father Mark Jones on March 22, while mother, Sarah Barnes, jogged nearby.
As Emily rode her scooter and cried out to her mum, complete stranger Skana jumped up from a bench, grabbed the little girl, and slit her throat with a craft knife.
Emily’s parents said: “How can you put into words how you feel about the senseless death of your only child? It is just too difficult to comprehend.
“We will never see Emily grow and become the wonderful young lady we knew she would become, we will never see her hold her own child in her arms, as we held her.
“Emily brought out something special in everyone who was lucky enough to be in her life.
“The loss of Emily has had a profound and significant impact, not just on her family, but the whole community.
“We cannot move on, because at this time, we cannot see a future. We can only focus on today, it is literally one day at a time.”
Having been sentenced, Skana will first be treated at Rampton high-security hospital under section 45A of the Mental Health Act 2003.
At a murder trial in Manchester last week, the court was told Skana was an incurable paranoid schizophrenic who had been prescribed anti-psychotic medication since attacking her own mother and sister in 2017.
Skana, who came to the UK from Albania in 2014, had not been taking her medication before the attack.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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