Girl, 7, stabbed to death by stranger in Bolton park

Police said the attack appeared to be random and motiveless and the suspect had a history of mental illness

A woman is in custody
A woman is in custody

A murder investigation has been launched after a seven year old girl was stabbed to death in an apparently motiveless, random attack in a park in Bolton, Greater Manchester.

The girl was enjoying a walk with her family on Sunday afternoon in Queen’s Park when a woman carrying a knife approached them and suddenly attacked the little girl.

Paramedics raced to the scene but despite their best efforts and those of the girl's family, she was pronounced dead a short time later.

A 30-year-old woman was detained by members of the public at the scene and was subsequently arrested by police on suspicion of murder.

Detectives investigating the incident said the woman was not known to the victim or her family and it appeared to be a random and motiveless attack.

Greater Manchester Police also said it was believed the woman in custody had a history of mental illness.

Assistant Chief Constable, Russ Jackson of GMP, said: “Words cannot describe how awful this attack is. The family were out in the park, enjoying the spring sun when in a totally unprovoked and random attack this little girl sustained horrendous injuries and sadly died a short while later.

“A 30-year-old woman who was not known to the family was detained by a member of the public and then arrested by the police. She is currently in custody for murder and it is expected she will be interviewed by detectives later. 

“We are working to understand the motive for this completely random and brutal attack. We understand that the woman has some history of mental illness and we are working to understand if this played any part in her motive. 

“We have sent specialist family liaison officers to support the family. This is a family’s worst nightmare. The incident is horrendous and I cannot begin to imagine what the family of this little girl are going through.  

“We are determined to quickly understand how this came to happen, leaving a young family so distraught and so devastated in an instant.”