LITTLE Emily Jones was with her dad, enjoying a Mother's Day ride on her scooter when she was fatally stabbed, a coroner has been told.

At Bolton Coroner's Court acting senior coroner Alan Walsh opened an inquest into seven-year-old Emily's death and released her body to allow her funeral to take place.

Police coroner's officer Rebecca Gardner told how Emily Grace, who was born in Bolton on January 18, 2013, was the daughter of credit manager Mark Jones and solicitor Sarah Barnes.

She said that the family, who are from the Doffcocker area, had been at Queens Park, Heaton on March 22.

"Emily was on her scooter playing," said Miss Gardner.

"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."

Emily mother formally identified her daughter the following day and Mr Walsh was told that a post mortem found that she died as a result of an incised wound of the neck.

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.

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.

"I wish to say I have been truly touched by the photographs of Emily that have been sent to me," said Mr Walsh.

"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 her death Emily's parents paid tribute to her, describing how the little girl, their only child, had been 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 heart breaking to wake up to a world without Emily in it and we cannot comprehend why this has happened."

“We would like to thank the members of the public that assisted us in the park and express our gratitude to the emergency services for doing their upmost to save Emily’s life."

Detectives are continuing to appeal for information. Anyone with any information should contact police on 0161 856 8797 or 101 quoting incident number 1430 of the 22/03/20, or email Anyone with any images or footage that could assist enquiries should send them to

Information can also be passed to police anonymously, via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.