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Schizophrenic woman who stabbed seven-year-old girl to death in front of her parents on Mother’s Day found not guilty of murder

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A paranoid schizophrenic woman, Eltiona Skana who murdered a seven year old girl, has now been freed after it was revealed the woman was smuggled into the UK in a lorry and has been hospitalized severally in mental institutions.

Though she refused treatment, Skana was released back into the community on Friday, December 4, after her case was dropped on mental health grounds.

Emily Jones was killed as she ran towards her mum on Mother’s Day this year. She had been playing on her scooter in Queen’s Park, Bolton, on March 22.

The youngster was shouting to her mother, Sarah Barnes, who was jogging nearby after being taken to the park by her father Mark Jones.

As Emily passed Skana – who was sitting on a park bench – she suddenly got up, grabbed the little girl and slashed her throat with a craft knife.

Emergency services were called at around 2.35pm on the day of the attack and Emily was rushed to Salford Royal Hospital.

She was pronounced dead at 3.56pm after medics had desperately tried to save her life.

The jury has heard Skana, who came to the UK from Albania with her family in 2014, has a history of mental illness. After her arrest, Skana was detained under the Mental Health Act.

After Emily died, her parents released a heart wrenching tribute to their seven-year-old daughter.

It read: ‘Emily was seven-years-old, our only child and the light of our lives.

‘She was always full of joy, love and laughter.

‘Emily had such a cheeky smile and was beautiful inside and out. She had a heart as big as her smile.

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‘Emily was never happier than when she was spending time with her family and friends, she was our own little social butterfly.

‘Emily had a passion for the outdoors and loved to play any sport, even when she was wearing her pink sparkly dresses.

‘We are beyond devastated that this random act of violence means that we will never get to see our beautiful little girl grow up into the wonderful young lady she was showing such promise of becoming.

‘It is truly heart breaking to wake up to a world without Emily in it and we cannot comprehend why this has happened.

‘We would like to thank the members of the public that assisted us in the park and express our gratitude to the emergency services for doing their upmost to save Emily’s life.

‘Thank you to everyone for their kind messages of support and for continuing to respect our privacy at this difficult time.’

Skana pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Manchester Crown Court on the grounds of diminished responsibility but was charged with murder.

But on the seventh day of her trial, the jury was told the prosecution were discontinuing the case, with prosecutor Michael Brady QC stating there was no realistic prospect of a conviction due to her mental condition.

The judge then asked the jury to formally return a not guilty verdict at crown court.

Before the judgement, the court heard Skana, from Albania, arrived in the UK in 2014 in a lorry and had been having injections of anti-psychotic drugs each month since 2017.

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In 2014, her sister had paid an agent to take Skana to the UK, via Italy and France in a lorry.  The refusal was later reversed on appeal and she was given a residency permit to remain in the UK until November 2020 and then leave to remain until 2024.

Dr Victoria Sullivan, who treated Skana in Manchester after her arrest, said the defendant’s sister, Klestora, told them she had not been taking her anti-psychotic medication before the attack.

The court also heard that police raided her flat in Bolton after her arrest and found a stash of untaken, anti-psychotic drugs.

From mid-December of last year until March 11, the defendant had no face-to-face contact with her mental health workers, the jury heard.

In 2017, Skana had stabbed her mother and in another incident attacked her sister and had been admitted to psychiatric hospitals three times yet she was deemed well enough by doctors to be released back into the community.

 

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