The grieving parents of a girl murdered on Mother’s Day this year are begging people to stop using her picture to spread hate on social media.
Emily Jones, 7, was stabbed to death in front of her horrified dad as they enjoyed a day out together in Queen’s Park, Bolton. Eltiona Skana, 30, a stranger to the Jones family, was later charged with her murder and detained under the Mental Health Act.
In recent weeks Emily’s photo has been shared by those against the Black Lives Matter movement, who claim her death did not receive the same outpouring of anger as that of George Floyd, 46, who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
Her parents, Sarah and Mark, have now asked the public to stop posting Emily’s image in connection with the protests. They said in a joint statement that their daughter was ‘beautiful inside and out’ and loved everyone regardless of their race.
They said: ‘We are aware that many people are using the picture we released of our daughter Emily, when we publicly paid tribute to her following the worst day of our lives, as part of recent protests and campaigns.
‘Today we kindly ask the public to stop using the picture of our Emily from one of her days at school.
‘We hold this picture dear to our hearts and to see it being used in this way is incredibly upsetting – Emily loved everything and everyone, regardless of their race, gender or beliefs. As we’ve said before, she was beautiful inside and out and had a heart as big as her smile.’
Emily’s death was described by police as a ‘random and unprovoked attack’. Officers were called to the park at 2.35pm after hearing reports that a girl had been injured by a woman with a knife.
The schoolgirl died a short while later despite the best efforts of her family and medical responders.
Sarah and Mark added that they were ‘still grieving over the loss of our beautiful daughter’ and seeing her picture being used as part of recent protests had caused them ‘huge distress’.
They continued: ‘A woman has been charged with the murder of our daughter and we want to ensure that we respect the legal process and ask people not to speculate over the circumstances surrounding her death.
‘We thank you for your support with this matter and hope that you can respect our wishes. We wish everyone health and happiness at this uncertain time.’