Woman stabbed girl to death as she rode her scooter, inquest hears
2nd April 2020
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Woman stabbed seven-year-old girl to death in front of her horrified father as she rode her scooter past park bench on Mother’s Day, inquest hears

  • Emily Jones was stabbed in the neck as she rode her scooter, an inquest heard
  • Seven-year-old rode past a woman, 30, who was sat on a bench, court was told
  • The woman was arrested after the attack at Queen’s Park in Bolton on March 22
  • She is in a high security facility after being detained under the Mental Health Act

A woman stabbed a seven-year-old girl to death in front of her horrified father as she rode her scooter past a park bench on Mother’s Day, an inquest heard.

Emily Jones was stabbed in the neck by a woman who was sat on a wooden bench as the youngster rode past her.

Emergency services attended the scene of the unprovoked attack at Queen’s Park in Bolton, Greater Manchester at around 2.35pm on Sunday, March 22.

Emily Jones, pictured, seven, was stabbed to death as she rode her scooter past a woman who was sat on a wooden bench at Queen’s Park in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on March 22

Police pictured in a cordoned-off area at Queen’s Park in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on March 23, where the seven-year-old was stabbed to death the previous day

Emily was rushed to nearby Salford Royal Hospital, but was tragically pronounced dead at 3.56pm.

Acting senior coroner Alan Walsh opened an inquest into Emily’s death at Bolton Coroner’s Court and released her body to allow a funeral to take place.

He described Emily’s death as ‘one of the most tragic’ he has dealt with in 20 years as a coroner.

Police coroner’s officer Rebecca Gardner told the court: ‘Emily was on her scooter playing.

‘As she rode past a wooden bench, a female sat on the bench suddenly attacked Emily, stabbing her in the neck, causing catastrophic injury.

‘Emily was taken to Salford Royal Hospital, but despite best efforts to save Emily her death was diagnosed at 15.56 hours that day.’

The court was told a post mortem found that Emily died as a result of an incised wound of the neck.

A 30-year-old woman, who was not known to Emily’s family, was arrested at the park on suspicion of murder and has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

She remains in a high security facility.

Mr Walsh told the court: ‘I have been truly touched by the photographs of Emily that have been sent to me.

Floral and cuddly toy tributes to the seven-year-old girl. Following her death, Emily’s parents paid tribute to her, describing their only child as the ‘light of our lives’

‘I send my heartfelt condolences to Emily’s family and friends, but particularly to her parents, who were present in the park and her father, who was nearby.

‘In my 20 years as a coroner this is one of the most tragic deaths that I have dealt with and the loss of a beautiful, innocent, lively, intelligent and lovely seven-year-old in these circumstances is an unimaginable tragedy.

‘I appreciate that Emily’s parents are beyond devastated and my sincere thoughts are with them at this enormously sad time.’

None of Emily’s family were in court for the hearing, but Mr Walsh added: ‘I make those comments because the police have kept me informed of the tributes the family made shortly after Emily’s death and the photograph that was sent to me, through the police, of her in her school uniform and looking a happy, intelligent child.

‘I am enormously sad at her death and it is important that her parents know that all our wishes are with them and our thoughts are with them at this enormously sad time.’

Following Emily’s death her parents paid tribute to her, describing their only child as the ‘light of our lives’.

They added that the primary school pupil was ‘always full of joy, love and laughter’.

In a statement, they said: ‘Emily had such a cheeky smile and was beautiful inside and out. She had a heart as big as her smile.

‘Emily was never happier than when she was spending time with her family and friends, she was our own little social butterfly.

‘Emily had a passion for the outdoors and loved to play any sport, even when she was wearing her pink sparkly dresses.

‘We are beyond devastated that this random act of violence means that we will never get to see our beautiful little girl grow up into the wonderful young lady she was showing such promise of becoming.

‘It is truly heartbreaking to wake up to a world without Emily in it and we cannot comprehend why this has happened.’

Police inquiries into Emily’s death remain ongoing and witnesses are urged to call 0161 856 8797 quoting incident number 1430 of the 22/03/20.

Mr Walsh adjourned the inquest until July 3.

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