1. ITV Report

Thousands of pounds raised as legacy for seven-year-old stabbing victim

Credit: Family photo

The parents of a schoolgirl who was stabbed to death as she played in a park have raised thousands of pounds after appealing to create a legacy in her name.

Seven-year-old Emily Jones was attacked by a stranger in Queen's Park, Bolton, on March 22 and died a short time later.

A 30-year-old woman was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. She was detained under the Mental Health Act and remains in a high-secure facility. .

A GoFundMe page called "A legacy for Emily Jones, to help others" was set up by Emily's mother Sarah Barnes on Wednesday to raise money for Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

In under 24 hours, more than £8,800 had been donated, beating the fundraising target of £7,000.

A message on the page said: "Our daughter Emily Grace Jones died on 22nd March 2020, having been attacked by a stranger in the park, whilst playing on her scooter.

"Emily was only seven years old. Emily was such a happy, bubbly, beautiful and intelligent girl. An absolute joy to spend time with.

"As a family, we do not want Emily's name to be in vain. Emily was fortunate, in that she had the support and love of family and friends during her life.

"Emily was extremely sporty and adventurous, with so much energy. She packed so much into her short life. Emily loved to play tennis, she had swimming lessons, learned to horse ride."

The family said not all children had the support and opportunities Emily had.

The message said: "Emily would have loved to help others and Bolton Lads and Girls Club provide the perfect opportunity to help children achieve their goals and provide much needed support."

A statement on the Facebook page for Bolton Lads and Girls Club, where Ms Barnes volunteers as a mentor, described Emily as a "beautiful girl from a beautiful family".

It said: "We are beyond humbled and so grateful to be chosen as the beneficiary of Emily's amazing legacy."

The club offers sports and arts activities for children and young people.

More than £12,000 has also been raised to create a memorial at Markland Hill Primary School, where Emily was a pupil.

Staff at the school described the youngster as a "ray of sunshine".

They said: "Her smile was infectious and it lit up the room. Emily was bubbly, sociable and a joy to be around."

The GoFundMe page for Emily's Legacy can be found here.