Father of girl stabbed to death in park angered by inquest delay

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Emily Jones, seven, was viciously stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack while at Queens Park in Bolton on Mother’s Day 2020. The girl was attacked by Eltiona Skana, then 30, when she slashed the youngster’s throat with a craft knife she had bought from a pound shop earlier in the day. Now, Emily’s father has aired his “frustrations” about the slow progress of the inquest into her death, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Emily was killed on March 22 2020 while playing in a park on her scooter by Skana, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

The attacker was convicted of manslaughter, by means of diminished responsibility, and was sentenced to life in prison.

A judge ruled she must serve a minimum term of 10 years and eight months in jail.

She was also given a hospital order and will be sent to prison once doctors sign off on her psychological state.

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However, she may remain in hospital indefinitely if that never happens.

An appeal to have her sentence reduced was rejected by the Court of Appeal in February 2022.

A coroner ruled an inquest should take place in December 2021, however, it could not be held until the full information about Skana and “how a psychologically disordered individual came to be in the community and how the risk to the community was assessed and managed” was revealed.

The inquest into Emily’s death is now scheduled for May 2, after the pre-inquest review hearing was held on Monday at Bolton Coroner’s Court. The preinquest hearing was told there’s still some evidence to be submitted in the case.

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Fuming about the delay, Emily’s father Mark Jones said it feels like “groundhog day” all the time, as during the pre-inquest review it was revealed there was still some evidence yet to be submitted in the case.

Mark told the Manchester Evening News: “I just find the process very frustrating. Deadlines are set and are never adhered to. It’s like groundhog day coming here all the time.”

Mr Jones legal representative, Sefton Kawsnik said: “It was three years and five days ago when these events happened.

“When Mr Jones was last in court on October 27, five months ago, he heard various deadlines being set including disclosure by the trust of statements by December 21 and that still hasn’t happened.

“I think he’s concerned that he’s representing Emily, whose inquest this is. It’s not his, nor mine, nor the trust’s. This is an inquest into the death of Emily. And he feels in a sense he’s doing everything that he can to assist everything so far.

“Yet he now finds himself four to five weeks away from undertaking an inquest when it’s still not fully together. He’s concerned that he might be being made to rush into a final hearing through no fault of his own.”

The father’s legal representative added: “There are still concerns that the family may be being rushed into preparing for this important event in their journey, beyond the most tragic events imaginable.”

Senior Coroner Timothy Brennand said to Mr Jones: “I am sorry you saw fit to communicate in those very clear and upsetting terms.”

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