Please - if you can spare the time - gaze on the photograph of the little girl in the photograph. She looks such a sweet-natured child, the kind of youngster that any family would be proud of, any school would like as a pupil, any child would want as a friend. With this in mind, it comes as a dreadful shock to learn that this lovely little seven-year-old girl is no longer with us. The shock deepens when we learn of how she died - it brought me close to tears.
For Emily Jones, as she was known, was stabbed to death in a park in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on Sunday, 22nd March. She was murdered by an anonymous mental health patient in what has been described as a random attack. Details are sketchy about the event, but they seem to follow a familiar pattern that I have written about so many times before: savage violence, followed by incarceration of an unspecified length. The BBC says:
"A 30-year-old woman arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder has been detained at a secure facility under the Mental Health Act."
As yet, the attacker has not been named, and we await further disclosures. We do need to know who she is, for future reference. As I have said too many times already, the people who carry out these atrocities may well be incarcerated in secure facilities, but there seems to be nothing to stop them from being released, "cured", in a short time - perhaps to kill again.
However long the murderer spends locked up, the parents and family of Emily Jones face a life sentence of grief and agonising loss. Emily was their only child, and what they are going through now is unimaginable. Indeed, Emily sounds like the type of child she looked to be. Her parents called her "the light of our lives" and said:"Emily had such a cheeky smile and was beautiful inside and out. She had a heart as big as her smile."
Emily's murder is a terrible loss to her family, and a sad loss to the world. We needed Emily Jones and we need many more like her. We can only nod in agreement to what her parents said:
"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".
I would like to thank Rednev for alerting me to this tragedy and I know that I speak for all who read this blog in sending our condolences to the parents and family of Emily; I am only glad to have been able to pay tribute to such an outstanding young lady. May she rest in peace. There will be, I hope, an investigation onto this incident, and we will learn just how and why such a dangerous individual was allowed to be walking freely in a park, armed with a knife, with children around.
I would like to conclude with a note of explanation. Most people, I hope, will understand already why I post so regularly on this subject. Unfortunately, some commentators think I am obsessed; others have accused me of "laying down the law" - whatever that means.
I write about the danger posed by murderous mental health patients for the very simple reason that anyone could become their victim. Emily, along with all other victims I have written about, was killed in a random attack. Any one of us, and our loved ones, could fall victim to these people. I keep writing about such attacks, because I hope that by alerting people, someone will pressurise the apropriate authorities to bring these atrocities to an end. Hope springs eternal...
There is of course, another reason. Every victim of these crazed individuals had a name, had hopes, dreams and families who loved them. I like to think that by writing of their tragic fates, I can help, somehow, to keep their memory alive. Anyone who doesn't understand that, well, I'm sorry for you.