The suspect arrested for the murder of Emily Jones has been found not guilty of murder on mental health grounds.
The murder of Emily Jones shocked the nation when news broke of the incident and it has been one of the most widely shared news pieces of the past year.
Eltiona Skana, an illegal Albanian immigrant, originally arrived in the UK after unlawfully hitching a ride on the back of cross-border freight lorry through an arrangement with her sister and an unscrupulous HGV driver.
Skana claimed asylum immediately upon her arrival in the United Kingdom. However, her asylum application was refused in June 2018.
She subsequently lodged an appeal and was given a residency permit lasting until November 2020, and leave to remain until 2024.
During her appeal process, she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was taken into the custody of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust. However, she had been deemed fit for release into the community under community care monitoring.
She subsequently went on to attack Emily Jones (11), who had been riding her scooter with her family in a park near her home in Bolton. Skana, who was armed, suddenly ran up to Emily and slashed her throat with a craft knife.
After her arrest, it was discovered that she had not been taking her medication.
A search of her home discovered “a month’s worth” of stockpiled medication and Jonathan Pettet, a psychiatric nurse and team leader at Rampton Hospital, testified during the trial that Skana told him:
“I killed someone, that’s the reason why I’m here.”
Afterwards, when questioned on the reason behind the killing, it transpired she had told Mr. Pettet:
“It was premeditated. I waited in the park, I picked my victim and I killed somebody and tried to run away”.
Despite pleading guilty to the murder after her arrest & trial at Bolton Crown Court, the jury for the case was informed by Crown Prosecution Service that they were not pursuing a murder charge and were instructed to find Skana not guilty of murder.
Prosecution barrister Michael Brady QC explained that the decision to drop the murder charge had been reached following evidence from Dr Saifullah Syed Afghan, who is a consultant forensic psychiatrist and was responsible for treating Skana at Rampton Hospital.
Eltiona Skana will likely be charged with involuntary manslaughter when a verdict is reached in the coming weeks.