United Kingdom

Emily Jones killer granted chance to appeal her life sentence

In March 2020, Eltiona Skana grabbed the young Bolton schoolgirl and slashed her throat while she rode her scooter through Queens Park. Skana was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of ten years and eight months in prison.

She was also given a hospital order after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Sentencing Skana – who suffers from severe paranoid schizophrenia – judge Mr Justice Wall told her she would be detained in a secure hospital until “no longer necessary”.

He said if she was ever released she would go straight to prison to serve her life term.

However, today the Court of Appeal confirmed she has been granted leave to appeal the life sentence.

Her case was heard by a single judge on August 6, who found the appeal had merit, the Manchester Evening News reported.

This means the case will be heard before three Court of Appeal judges, who will decide whether to uphold or overrule her current sentence.

When Skana’s case was first heard at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court, the judge was told Emily had been riding to meet her mother.

Skana leapt from a bench and grabbed the young schoolgirl before cutting her across the neck.

READ MORE: Woman ‘slit the throat of Emily, 7, as girl scooted to see mum’

Her appeal date yet to be confirmed.

Senior investigating officer Duncan Thorpe, of Greater Manchester Police, said after the case: “Emily was taken from her family and friends in the worst possible way.

“This was an absolutely devastating incident that has left Emily’s parents and family completely heartbroken. It sent shockwaves across the country as everyone mourned the loss of this innocent little girl.

“No sentence can ever undo what happened on that awful day in March.

“But Emily’s spirit will live on in her family and I know she will never be forgotten.”

Back in May, it was revealed that during her court appearances legal aid costs were around £66,564.

The Centre for Crime Prevention think tank criticised the sum for defending the 31-year-old.

David Spencer, its research director, claimed: “There was never any question of Skana’s guilt.

“Questions therefore have to be asked about whether it is a sensible use of taxpayers’ money.

“It epitomises everything that is wrong with the legal aid system and why it is so badly in need of reform.”

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