Emily Jones killer sentenced to life imprisonment
The killer of seven-year-old Emily Jones has been sentenced to life imprisonment, and will serve at least eight years behind bars after sentencing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.
Eltiona Skana, 30, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after slashing young Emily's throat in a brutal and unprovoked attack.
The jury initially returned a "not guilty" verdict for murder before Skana was eventually sentenced to eight years behind bars for manslaughter.
The judge instructed the jury to return this verdict as witness psychiatrists concluded that Skana was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the attack, and was completely delusional.
Despite this, Mr Justice Wall was not completely satisfied that Skana had no control over herself. He said: "Although it is accepted that Skana was having a psychotic episode at the time she killed Emily, I find it troubling that she was aware enough to purchase the knife, sit in a park concealing herself with her hood up and run away afterwards.
"You went out to a shop before you had even met or seen Emily Jones. You there bought or acquired craft knives for which you had no obvious use other than to use as weapons.
"You had the presence of mind to pull your hood up before attacking her. There was no obvious reason for you to do so other than to disguise your appearance to reduce the chance that you would be apprehended.
"Although the reason for your offending is to be found in the paranoid schizophrenia, all of these factors lead me to conclude that you retained a real understanding of the nature of your actions and an ability to decide on a course of action that, to you, appeared to be rational but which you knew was wrong."
After the sentencing, senior investigating officer, Duncan Thorpe, of the Greater Manchester Police's major incident team said: "This was an absolutely devastating incident that has left Emily's parents and family completely heartbroken and I know it sent shockwaves across the country as everyone mourned the loss of this innocent little girl.
“Emily was taken from her family and friends in the worst possible way. No sentence can ever undo what happened on that awful day in March, but Emily's spirit will live on in her family and I know that she will never be forgotten."
Following the attack, Emily Jones' parents set up a gofundme page in order to raise substantial funds for Bolton lads and girls club, you can donate here: Fundraiser by Sarah Barnes : A legacy for Emily Jones, to help others (gofundme.com).