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Editor slams ‘crazed’ conspiracy theories over coverage of child’s death

Karl Holbrook 1An editor has slammed “conspiracy theorists” who questioned why he had not named the alleged murderer of a seven-year-old girl before she was charged.

Bolton News editor Karl Holbrook has hit out at “crazed theories” put forward by readers as to why the newspaper had not published a suspect’s name following the death of Emily Jones.

Emily was stabbed to death in a Bolton park on Mother’s Day.

Police have now charged 30-year-old Eltiona Skana with murder and possession of a bladed article, as reported by the News on Wednesday.

Posting on Twitter, Karl said: “For the conspiracy theorists who’ve kindly emailed me with their crazed theories about why we hadn’t named the alleged murderer since the tragic death of Emily Jones in Bolton on Mother’s Day. We hadn’t named her because she hadn’t been charged.

“Now she has, so we have. In accordance with the law and so we don’t do anything that could possibly stand in the way of this heartbroken family getting justice for their daughter. Shame on anyone who didn’t do this.”

An inquest opened into her death heard Emily was with her dad, enjoying a Mother’s Day ride on her scooter when she was fatally stabbed.

Police coroner’s officer Rebecca Gardner told the hearing she was the daughter of credit manager Mark Jones and solicitor Sarah Barnes.

Speaking to HTFP, Karl said: “This day and age, people are quick to jump to irrational conclusions and crazy conspiracy theories about all sorts of things they read.

“Since this terrible tragedy occurred in Bolton on Mother’s Day I’ve been contacted by people from around the world accusing me of all sorts of things because the suspect hadn’t been named.”

Karl added those who had been in contacted had “jumped to all kinds of conclusions, which of course were totally wrong” and accused the News of withholding the truth.

He said: “The simple reality was that the suspect hadn’t been charged and the last thing I was willing to do was publish something that could stand any chance of disrupting the criminal justice process, and therefore scupper this heartbroken family’s chance of getting justice.

“We did the correct thing, by waiting to publish the suspect’s name until she was charged. And, despite what our conspiracy theorist friends may think, we will follow it all the way through the courts to whatever conclusion regardless of race, creed or religion in the same responsible fashion we have done for the past 150 years.

“It’s precisely matters like this that underline the importance of a proper, informed and independent media.

“It’s easy to dismiss these people as idiots, which of course they are, but they are idiots that can ultimately deny families a chance for real justice by getting court cases thrown out because they think they can post whatever they like across the internet just because they have a Twitter account.”