A seven-year-old girl was stabbed to death in a park in a totally unprovoked and random attack in front of her family, according to police.
The child was attacked as she enjoyed the sunshine at Queens Park in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on Sunday afternoon.
Members of the public detained the suspect, a 30-year-old woman, immediately after the stabbing at around 2.30pm.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
Download now
Detectives said the woman was not known to the family of the girl.
She is being held for questioning by Greater Manchester Police after officers arrested her on suspicion of murder.
left
Created with Sketch.
right
Created with Sketch.
Shape
Created with Sketch.
UK news in pictures
1/50 21 March 2020
A general view of an empty Trafalgar Square in London. There have as of now been 3,983 diagnosed coronavirus cases in the UK and 177 deaths
2/50 20 March 2020
Swans swim on the banks of the River Severn in Worcester
3/50 19 March 2020
A piece of art by the artist, known as the Rebel Bear has appeared on a wall on Bank Street in Glasgow. The new addition to Glasgow’s street art is capturing the global Coronavirus crisis. The piece features a woman and a man pulling back to give each other a kiss
4/50 18 March 2020
Students tend to Spring Lambs at Moreton Morrell College in Warwickshire
5/50 17 March 2020
Caerphilly Castle in South Wales joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greenings campaign to mark St Patrick’s Day
6/50 16 March 2020
Shoppers form long queues ahead of the opening of a Costco wholesale store in Chingford
7/50 15 March 2020
Players sing songs in the changing room after their game of football at Hackney Marshes in London
8/50 14 March 2020
Empty shelves in the laundry aisle of an Asda store in London
9/50 13 March 2020
Runners and riders compete in the JCB Triumph Hurdle during day four of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Thousands of people attended where Gold Cup day amid great uncertainty as sports events up and down the United Kingdom are postponed and cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak
10/50 12 March 2020
A worker makes her way along rows of daffodils, removing any rogue varieties, at Taylors Bulbs in Holbeach, Lincolnshire. The fourth generation family company plant over 35 million bulbs every year, and have held The Royal Warrant as Bulb Growers to Her Majesty The Queen since 1985
11/50 11 March 2020
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak poses for pictures with the Budget Box outside 11 Downing Street ahead of Britain’s first post-Brexit budget
12/50 10 March 2020
A Tate Modern gallery assistant interacts with the ‘Silver Clouds’ installation, at a press view of major new Andy Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern, which features classic pop art pieces and works never shown before in the UK
13/50 9 March 2020
The Sub Dean and Canon Paster of Southwark, Canon Michael Rawson, left, blesses the statue of Santa Barbara and workers on one of the sites of the Thames Tideway Tunnel in London. Santa Barbara is the patron saint of tunnellers and by tradition a statue and shrine to her is placed at tunnel portals and the entrance to long tunnel headings to keep workers safe while underground. The 16 mile-long Thames Tideway Tunnel will prevent tens of millions of tonnes of sewage and rainwater run-off entering the river every year
14/50 8 March 2020
An Afghan Hound dog is prepared for show at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (NEC) during the final day of the Crufts Dog Show
15/50 7 March 2020
People taking part in the Million Women Rise march through central London, to demand an end to male violence against women and girls in all its forms
16/50 6 March 2020
Crew members take a selfie beside the cab of The Flying Scotswoman, the LNER Edinburgh to London rail service which has an all-female crew to celebrate International Women’s Day, before it departs Edinburgh Waverley station
17/50 5 March 2020
A poodle arrives for the first day of Crufts 2020 in Birmingham
18/50 4 March 2020
An Emergency Department Nurse during a demonstration of the Coronavirus pod and Covid-19 virus testing procedures set-up beside the Emergency Department of Antrim Area Hospital in Northern Ireland
19/50 3 March 2020
A pedestrian wears a protective facemask while taking a bus in Westminster, London, on the day that Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK has risen to 51
20/50 2 March 2020
An artist at Madame Tussauds in London fits the museum’s waxwork of Prime Minister Boris Johnson with a baby carrier, following the recent announcement that he is expecting a baby with partner Carrie Symonds
21/50 1 March 2020
A man dressed as Dewi Sant leads the St David’s day parade in Cardiff, where hundreds of people march through the city in celebration of the patron saint of Wales. Dewi Sant (Saint David in English) was the Welsh bishop of Mynyw (now St Davids) during the 6th century
22/50 29 February 2020
A home flooded after the River Aire burst its banks in East Cowick, East Yorkshire
23/50 28 February 2020
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg takes part in a “Youth Strike 4 Climate” protest march in Bristol, south west England. “Activism works, so I ask you to act,” she said
24/50 27 February 2020
Campaigners cheer outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London after they won a Court of Appeal challenge against controversial plans for a third runway at Heathrow
25/50 26 February 2020
Temporary barriers have been overwhelmed by flood water in Bewdley, Shropshire
26/50 25 February 2020
Players take part in the Atherstone Ball Game in Warwickshire. The game honours a match played between Leicestershire and Warwickshire in 1199, when teams used a bag of gold as a ball, and which was won by Warwickshire
27/50 24 February 2020
A couple shelter from waves crashing over the promenade in Folkestone, Kent, as bad weather continues to cause problems across the country
28/50 23 February 2020
Viking re-enactors during the Jorvik Viking Festival in York, recognised as the largest event of its kind in Europe
29/50 22 February 2020
Former Greek Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and editor in chief of WikiLeaks Kristinn Hrafnsonn attend a protest against the extradition of Julian Assange outside the Australian High Commission in London
30/50 21 February 2020
A worker recovers stranded vehicles from flood water on the A761 in Paisley, Scotland
31/50 20 February 2020
Police officers outside Regents Park mosque in central London after a man was reportedly been stabbed in the neck. Footage from the scene showed a young white man in a red hooded top being led from the mosque by police
32/50 19 February 2020
Floodwaters surround Upton upon Seven following Storm Dennis
33/50 18 February 2020
Models on the catwalk during the Bobby Abley show at London Fashion Week
34/50 17 February 2020
Rachel Cox inspecting flood damage in her kitchen in Nantgarw, south Wales, where residents are returning to their homes to survey and repair the damage in the aftermath of Storm Dennis
35/50 16 February 2020
Teme Street in Tenbury Wells is seen under floodwater from the overflowing River Teme, after Storm Dennis caused flooding across large swathes of Britain
36/50 15 February 2020
Models present creations at the Richard Quinn catwalk show during London Fashion Week in London
37/50 14 February 2020
Climate change protesters march through Whitehall, London
38/50 13 February 2020
Resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Mr Javids departure comes just one month before a crucial budget, intended to chart the course for the new government and makes him the shortest-serving chancellor for more than 50 years
39/50 12 February 2020
Hill farmer Tommy Aitchison from North Shortcleugh farm feeds his sheep in Elvanfoot, Scotland. A yellow warning for snow and ice remains in place across most of Scotland, police have reported a number of crashes across the region with many routes affected by snow and ice
40/50 11 February 2020
Robyn Peoples, left, 26, and Sharni Edwards, 27, at the Loughshore Hotel, in Carrickfergus, after they became the first couple to have a same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland
41/50 10 February 2020
Waves crash over a lorry on Blackpool waterfront as weather warnings for wind, snow and ice have been issued across large parts of the country. A day after the UK is trying to recover from the battering from Storm Ciara
42/50 9 February 2020
Residents attempt to remove water from their property as the streets flood in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, as Storm Ciara hits the UK
43/50 8 February 2020
England’s Ellis Genge celebrates scoring the first try of their Six Nations match against Scotland with teammates. The weather at Murrayfield Stadium hampered the playing conditions, with winds and rain from Storm Ciara approaching the UK. The away side won the match late on, with the scoreline ending 6-13
44/50 7 February 2020
Activists surround a wooden trojan horse in the courtyard of the British Museum in London. The horse, which is 4 metres tall and can seat 10 people inside, was pulled in by a group of supporters with flags reading “BP Must Fall”
45/50 6 February 2020
Members of the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme team examine a dead whale that died after becoming stranded in the Thames estuary at Medway over the weekend
46/50 5 February 2020
Children from Oaklands Secondary School in Bethnal Green and Families Belong Together campaigners in Westminster before handing a petition in to the Home Office, as they call on the government to amend the UK’s refugee family reunion laws
47/50 4 February 2020
Rasputin the polar bear, shakes off water as he is unveiled at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster
48/50 3 February 2020
Police activity inside a cordon where a man was shot by armed police in a terrorist-related incident in Streatham, London
49/50 2 February 2020
Micheal Ward with his Rising Star Award alongside Daniel Kaluuya Baftas
50/50 1 February 2020
Activists attend an anti-Conservative government, pro-Scottish independence, and anti-Brexit demonstration outside Holyrood, the seat of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh
1/50 21 March 2020
A general view of an empty Trafalgar Square in London. There have as of now been 3,983 diagnosed coronavirus cases in the UK and 177 deaths
2/50 20 March 2020
Swans swim on the banks of the River Severn in Worcester
3/50 19 March 2020
A piece of art by the artist, known as the Rebel Bear has appeared on a wall on Bank Street in Glasgow. The new addition to Glasgow’s street art is capturing the global Coronavirus crisis. The piece features a woman and a man pulling back to give each other a kiss
4/50 18 March 2020
Students tend to Spring Lambs at Moreton Morrell College in Warwickshire
5/50 17 March 2020
Caerphilly Castle in South Wales joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greenings campaign to mark St Patrick’s Day
6/50 16 March 2020
Shoppers form long queues ahead of the opening of a Costco wholesale store in Chingford
7/50 15 March 2020
Players sing songs in the changing room after their game of football at Hackney Marshes in London
8/50 14 March 2020
Empty shelves in the laundry aisle of an Asda store in London
9/50 13 March 2020
Runners and riders compete in the JCB Triumph Hurdle during day four of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Thousands of people attended where Gold Cup day amid great uncertainty as sports events up and down the United Kingdom are postponed and cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak
10/50 12 March 2020
A worker makes her way along rows of daffodils, removing any rogue varieties, at Taylors Bulbs in Holbeach, Lincolnshire. The fourth generation family company plant over 35 million bulbs every year, and have held The Royal Warrant as Bulb Growers to Her Majesty The Queen since 1985
11/50 11 March 2020
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak poses for pictures with the Budget Box outside 11 Downing Street ahead of Britain’s first post-Brexit budget
12/50 10 March 2020
A Tate Modern gallery assistant interacts with the ‘Silver Clouds’ installation, at a press view of major new Andy Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern, which features classic pop art pieces and works never shown before in the UK
13/50 9 March 2020
The Sub Dean and Canon Paster of Southwark, Canon Michael Rawson, left, blesses the statue of Santa Barbara and workers on one of the sites of the Thames Tideway Tunnel in London. Santa Barbara is the patron saint of tunnellers and by tradition a statue and shrine to her is placed at tunnel portals and the entrance to long tunnel headings to keep workers safe while underground. The 16 mile-long Thames Tideway Tunnel will prevent tens of millions of tonnes of sewage and rainwater run-off entering the river every year
14/50 8 March 2020
An Afghan Hound dog is prepared for show at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (NEC) during the final day of the Crufts Dog Show
15/50 7 March 2020
People taking part in the Million Women Rise march through central London, to demand an end to male violence against women and girls in all its forms
16/50 6 March 2020
Crew members take a selfie beside the cab of The Flying Scotswoman, the LNER Edinburgh to London rail service which has an all-female crew to celebrate International Women’s Day, before it departs Edinburgh Waverley station
17/50 5 March 2020
A poodle arrives for the first day of Crufts 2020 in Birmingham
18/50 4 March 2020
An Emergency Department Nurse during a demonstration of the Coronavirus pod and Covid-19 virus testing procedures set-up beside the Emergency Department of Antrim Area Hospital in Northern Ireland
19/50 3 March 2020
A pedestrian wears a protective facemask while taking a bus in Westminster, London, on the day that Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK has risen to 51
20/50 2 March 2020
An artist at Madame Tussauds in London fits the museum’s waxwork of Prime Minister Boris Johnson with a baby carrier, following the recent announcement that he is expecting a baby with partner Carrie Symonds
21/50 1 March 2020
A man dressed as Dewi Sant leads the St David’s day parade in Cardiff, where hundreds of people march through the city in celebration of the patron saint of Wales. Dewi Sant (Saint David in English) was the Welsh bishop of Mynyw (now St Davids) during the 6th century
22/50 29 February 2020
A home flooded after the River Aire burst its banks in East Cowick, East Yorkshire
23/50 28 February 2020
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg takes part in a “Youth Strike 4 Climate” protest march in Bristol, south west England. “Activism works, so I ask you to act,” she said
24/50 27 February 2020
Campaigners cheer outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London after they won a Court of Appeal challenge against controversial plans for a third runway at Heathrow
25/50 26 February 2020
Temporary barriers have been overwhelmed by flood water in Bewdley, Shropshire
26/50 25 February 2020
Players take part in the Atherstone Ball Game in Warwickshire. The game honours a match played between Leicestershire and Warwickshire in 1199, when teams used a bag of gold as a ball, and which was won by Warwickshire
27/50 24 February 2020
A couple shelter from waves crashing over the promenade in Folkestone, Kent, as bad weather continues to cause problems across the country
28/50 23 February 2020
Viking re-enactors during the Jorvik Viking Festival in York, recognised as the largest event of its kind in Europe
29/50 22 February 2020
Former Greek Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and editor in chief of WikiLeaks Kristinn Hrafnsonn attend a protest against the extradition of Julian Assange outside the Australian High Commission in London
30/50 21 February 2020
A worker recovers stranded vehicles from flood water on the A761 in Paisley, Scotland
31/50 20 February 2020
Police officers outside Regents Park mosque in central London after a man was reportedly been stabbed in the neck. Footage from the scene showed a young white man in a red hooded top being led from the mosque by police
32/50 19 February 2020
Floodwaters surround Upton upon Seven following Storm Dennis
33/50 18 February 2020
Models on the catwalk during the Bobby Abley show at London Fashion Week
34/50 17 February 2020
Rachel Cox inspecting flood damage in her kitchen in Nantgarw, south Wales, where residents are returning to their homes to survey and repair the damage in the aftermath of Storm Dennis
35/50 16 February 2020
Teme Street in Tenbury Wells is seen under floodwater from the overflowing River Teme, after Storm Dennis caused flooding across large swathes of Britain
36/50 15 February 2020
Models present creations at the Richard Quinn catwalk show during London Fashion Week in London
37/50 14 February 2020
Climate change protesters march through Whitehall, London
38/50 13 February 2020
Resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Mr Javids departure comes just one month before a crucial budget, intended to chart the course for the new government and makes him the shortest-serving chancellor for more than 50 years
39/50 12 February 2020
Hill farmer Tommy Aitchison from North Shortcleugh farm feeds his sheep in Elvanfoot, Scotland. A yellow warning for snow and ice remains in place across most of Scotland, police have reported a number of crashes across the region with many routes affected by snow and ice
40/50 11 February 2020
Robyn Peoples, left, 26, and Sharni Edwards, 27, at the Loughshore Hotel, in Carrickfergus, after they became the first couple to have a same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland
41/50 10 February 2020
Waves crash over a lorry on Blackpool waterfront as weather warnings for wind, snow and ice have been issued across large parts of the country. A day after the UK is trying to recover from the battering from Storm Ciara
42/50 9 February 2020
Residents attempt to remove water from their property as the streets flood in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, as Storm Ciara hits the UK
43/50 8 February 2020
England’s Ellis Genge celebrates scoring the first try of their Six Nations match against Scotland with teammates. The weather at Murrayfield Stadium hampered the playing conditions, with winds and rain from Storm Ciara approaching the UK. The away side won the match late on, with the scoreline ending 6-13
44/50 7 February 2020
Activists surround a wooden trojan horse in the courtyard of the British Museum in London. The horse, which is 4 metres tall and can seat 10 people inside, was pulled in by a group of supporters with flags reading “BP Must Fall”
45/50 6 February 2020
Members of the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme team examine a dead whale that died after becoming stranded in the Thames estuary at Medway over the weekend
46/50 5 February 2020
Children from Oaklands Secondary School in Bethnal Green and Families Belong Together campaigners in Westminster before handing a petition in to the Home Office, as they call on the government to amend the UK’s refugee family reunion laws
47/50 4 February 2020
Rasputin the polar bear, shakes off water as he is unveiled at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster
48/50 3 February 2020
Police activity inside a cordon where a man was shot by armed police in a terrorist-related incident in Streatham, London
49/50 2 February 2020
Micheal Ward with his Rising Star Award alongside Daniel Kaluuya Baftas
50/50 1 February 2020
Activists attend an anti-Conservative government, pro-Scottish independence, and anti-Brexit demonstration outside Holyrood, the seat of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh
Words cannot describe how awful this attack is, said assistant chief constable, Russ Jackson.
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.
Read more
This is a familys 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.
Police said in a statement that officers were called to the scene at 2.34pm after receiving emergency calls about the attack.
Ambulance and police attended and found that a seven-year-old girl had been attacked by a woman with a knife, the force added.
The child sustained extremely serious injuries and, despite the best efforts of her family and medical responders, she sadly died a short while later.
The assistant chief constable said the force was working to understand the motive for this completely random and brutal attack.
The girls family is being supported by specialist family liaison officers.