Emily Jones was on a day out in Bolton, Greater Manchester, when she was attacked by Eltiona Skana, 30, who was not known to the family.

The killer was sitting on a park bench and stabbed the girl in the neck as she passed by on a scooter.

Skana was arrested on suspicion of murder and detained under the mental health act.

She pleaded not guilty to murder, but admitted to manslaughter during a hearing at Manchester Crown Court today, via video-link from high-security Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire.

The Albanian national was accompanied by a member of her legal team at the hospital.

Michael Brady, prosecuting, asked the judge to adjourn the hearing for seven days for prosecution lawyers to consider the plea.

Judge Mr Justice Henshaw agreed to the adjournment, adding that the matter would proceed on the basis of a ‘full blown trial’, scheduled for November 23.

Emily’s father, Mark Jones, a credit manager, sat in the public gallery for the short hearing. Her mother, solicitor Sarah Barnes, did not attend.

In a tribute to at the time of her death, the child’s parents said: ‘Emily was seven-years-old, our only child and the light of our lives.

‘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.’