Emily Jones was out ‘enjoying the spring sun’ with her family at Queen’s Park in Heaton, Bolton on March 22 when the 30-year-old unidentified woman, who was sitting on a wooden bench, stabbed the girl in the neck. Emergency services were called to the park at around 2.30 pm – with the child rushed to nearby Salford Royal Hospital, only for Emily to tragically die a short time later despite ‘best efforts’ of doctors, the UK’s Bolton News reported.
Acting Senior Coroner Alan Walsh, described Emily’s death as ‘one of the most tragic’, instances he’d presided over at the start of the inquest into the child’s death at Bolton Coroner’s Court.
‘I have been truly touched by the photographs of Emily that have been sent to me. 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,’ the coroner said.
‘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,’ Walsh reiterated.
The 7 year old girl’s body has since been released for burial.
During the judicial inquiry, 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 also heard that Emily’s autopsy found that she died as a result of an incised wound of the neck.
The accused woman was arrested at the park and has been detained under the Mental Health Act. She remains in a high-security facility. Social media identified the perpetrator as a Somalian immigrant. Authorities have yet to confirm the woman’s identity.
Continued Walsh: ‘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.’
Meanwhile, the child’s family paid tribute to their daughter as they called her ‘the light of our lives’.
Told her parents who were not present in the court during the inquest, ‘She was always full of joy, love, and laughter. Emily had such a cheeky smile and was beautiful inside and out. She had a heart as big as her smile.’
Adding, ‘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,’ the girl’s parents added.
The parents also thanked the members of the public that helped them ‘in the park and express our gratitude to the emergency services for doing their utmost to save Emily’s life’.
Adding, ‘Thank you to everyone for their kind messages of support and for continuing to respect our privacy at this difficult time.’
Unclear is how the female perpetrator came to target her 7 year old victim…
Emily Jones Police continue to investigate the little girl’s death and so Mr Walsh adjourned the inquest for a further hearing to take place on July 3. Detectives are continuing to appeal for further information and have asked the public to step forward with any further information shedding light on the senseless death.
Information can also be passed to police anonymously, via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.