A paranoid-schizophrenic woman who slashed the throat of a 7-year-old girl in front of her parents was found not guilty of her murder in court. Eltiona Skana, 30, is said to have jumped up from a bench in Queen’s Park in Bolton, England and grabbed little Emily Jones as she rode her scooter before slicing her throat with a craft knife, Sky News reports.
- Thankfully, she will not roam free. While Skana was technically found not guilty of Emily’s murder, she was still sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of eight years in the little girl’s death. She pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the degree of diminished responsibility and will spend the first portion of her sentence at the Rampton high-security hospital under section 45A of the Mental Health Act 2003.
- Skana had been off of her medication for a while. In court, Skana was described as an “incurable paranoid schizophrenic” who had even attacked her own mother and sister in 2017, leading to her being prescribed medication for her mental health condition. However, she hadn’t been taking the medication prior to the attack and is said to have been trying unsuccessfully to get help leading up to the murder.
- The court believes Skana knew what she was doing. Mr. Justice Wall reviewed all the evidence as well as psychiatric evaluations and determined that Skana had some intention to cause harm. “You retained a real understanding of the nature of your actions … which you knew to be wrong,” he said. He added that many people involved in the case had been threatened online because of the not guilty verdict and the matter had been referred to police.
- Emily’s father, Mark Jones, read an impact statement in Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court. “The last nine months have been spent in limbo, we cannot move on because at the present time we cannot see a future,” he said. He described his daughter as “the beat of our heart, the spring in our step.”