Girl, 7, stabbed to death in park in Bolton - woman detained under Mental Health Act

Tania Snuggs, news reporter
Police at the scene in Queen’s Park in Bolton

A woman, 30, who was arrested after a seven-year-old girl was stabbed to death in a park in Bolton has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Greater Manchester Police say the child's parents saw their daughter being attacked in Queen's Park at random by a stranger at around 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon.

The girl, who has not been named, suffered "extremely serious injuries", and died a short time later.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said: "We have informed the family of the woman's detention.

"They are understandably distraught over what happened yesterday and we will continue to support them with family liaison officers in the coming months.

"It is hard to describe how terrible this incident was, the attack happened in front of the parents of this little girl who had taken her out yesterday afternoon to enjoy the spring sun and play in the park."

He continued: "Having seen this horrendous attack, a member of the public bravely chased after the woman and detained her until police arrived and arrested her.

"I would like to thank him for his actions which enabled us to quickly arrest her and prevent anything else from happening.

"Several officers who attended the park were very young in service in the police, some with only weeks on independent police patrol.

"They and all the officers who went to the scene are incredibly upset over what has happened and all of us have this little girl and her family in our thoughts.

"I want to stress that this is not an end to the criminal investigation, we will consider the evidence and consult with the Crown Prosecution Service and if appropriate we will be seeking criminal charges."

Police have cordoned off the scene, which is close to a children's play area, and are standing guard there.

On Monday morning, the park was almost empty, except for dog walkers - and tributes of flowers and teddy bears have been left at park gates, and at a tree on the edge of the cordon.

A card from Heaton Preschool, signed by "Auntie Shelley, Jodi, Becki and Auntie Laura", read: "Good night princess, fly high! Always in our thoughts."