Grieving dad agonises over ‘monstrous’ killing of daughter, 7, in front of him

Grieving dad agonises over ‘monstrous’ killing of daughter, 7, in front of him

 

A grieving dad whose “beautiful” daughter was knifed to death in front of him asked how his little girl could be killed in such a “violent and monstrous” way.

Mark Jones’ seven-year-old daughter Emily died on March 22 after being stabbed in the throat by schizophrenic Eltiona Skana, 30, in a park in Bolton, Greater Manchester.

In a heart-wrenching statement read to court Mr Jones asked “How can you put into words how you feel about the senseless death of your only child?”

He said Emily was the beat in their hearts and their reason for getting up every morning.

He added: “How can an innocent child, playing in the park, be killed in such a violent and monstrous way?”

Over the course of a seven-day trial this month, the court heard Skana grabbed Emily as she was riding a scooter towards her mum on Mother’s day.

The defendant then slashed the child across the neck with one hand and threw her to the ground before attempting to escape the area.

Mr Jones paid tribute to his little girl today in a heartbreaking statement read out at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, where Skana is being sentenced for manslaughter.

Skana was found not guilty of murder after a trial but previously admitted to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mr Jones’ emotional statement was read to the court this morning by barrister Michael Brady QC.

He 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.

“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. She was bright and funny, a kind child with not a mean bone in her body.

“Emily loved life and had not a care in the world.

“One smile from Emily and she had her daddy wrapped around her little finger.

“Emily was a loveable child, full of innocence and wonder.

“She was just starting out on her path of life and her future has cruelly been cut so short.

“Our future has also been taken away. How can you enjoy life when the biggest part of it isn’t there anymore.

“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.

“Emily was someone’s school friend, a play mate and of course a grand daughter and a niece and she meant something very special and unique to each and everyone of them.

“The last nine months have been spent in limbo. 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.

“We cannot understand why this has happened, we want people who are hearing this statement to understand that this should not have happened.

“How can an innocent child, playing in the park, be killed in such a violent and monstrous way?”

The court earlier heard evidence from psychiatrists who stated Skana, from Bolton, has paranoid schizophrenia and no other explanation could be offered for her killing Emily.

The prosecution discontinued its murder case with Michael Brady QC stating there was no realistic prospect of a conviction.

Judge Mr Justice Wall, proceeding over the case, asked the jury of 11 to formally return not guilty verdicts.

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