Woman appears in court charged with 7-year-old girl's murder

Emily Jones

A woman accused of murdering a seven-year-old girl in a park on Mother's Day has appeared in court via a video link from a high-security mental hospital.

Eltiona Skana, 30, who was wearing a black and white Adidas tracksuit top and clutching a tissue, spoke only to confirm her name when she appeared on screen from Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire, during the three-minute hearing at Manchester Magistrates' Court.

Skana, originally from Albania, is charged with the murder of Emily Jones, who was stabbed to death in Queen's Park, Bolton, when she was with her parents on the afternoon of Sunday March 22.

Skana was arrested at the scene and later detained under the Mental Health Act.

Emily died shortly after the apparently random attack, which was witnessed by her father.

The defendant is also charged with an offence of possession of a blade in a public place - a craft knife - on the same date.

District Judge Jack McGarva remanded Skana into custody for a further video link hearing at noon today at Manchester Crown Court.

He said:

This court cannot deal with one of the charges, the murder charge - that must be heard by a judge and jury at crown court.

District Judge Jack McGarva