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Thursday 21 August 2014

Addict guilty of beheading murder

Published 22/02/2013 | 15:31

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Deyan Deyanov, 29, right, was found guilty of the murder of Jennifer Mills-Westley in Tenerife
Jennifer Mills-Westley was murdered in a frenzied knife attack on the holiday island of Tenerife (PA/Lucie Blackman Trust)

A Bulgarian drug addict who beheaded a British grandmother in a frenzied knife attack on the holiday island of Tenerife has been found guilty of murder.

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Homeless Deyan Deyanov, 29, was convicted by a jury of nine at the Provincial Court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

He repeatedly stabbed and beheaded Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60, who had been shopping in the popular resort of Los Cristianos on May 13, 2011.

Deyanov had denied murder. His defence had argued he was not criminally responsible for his actions because he suffers acute paranoid schizophrenia. He faces a sentence of 15 to 20 years in a psychiatric unit.

His victim, a retired road safety worker originally from Norwich, was attacked while she was in a Chinese-owned general store near the beach. That morning, Deyanov had walked into another shop and asked for a knife "this big" because he was going to kill someone.

At 10.30am he went into the Mas Articulos Mejor Precios shop on Avenida Juan Carlos I, picked up a 22cm-long knife and plunged it repeatedly into Ms Mills-Westley's neck. He then walked out carrying her head, to the horror of onlookers, before being wrestled to the ground and arrested.

Living rough in Los Cristianos, the crack cocaine and LSD user was well-known to police on the island and had been arrested at least four times since January 2011 for violent offences. A warrant for his arrest had been issued just three days before the killing but officers were unable to locate him. He had previously been sectioned in the summer of 2010 under the Mental Health Act in Glan Clwyd Hospital, North Wales, and again at Tenerife's La Candelaria hospital before being bailed in early February 2011.

Reading the statement outside court, Sarah Mills-Westley said: "Despite our expectations, we have been disappointed by the lack of any other support - notably the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our mum's MP in her hometown of Norwich. Whilst today closes one chapter, we will have to live with the painful consequences for the rest of our lives.

"We ask that we are now granted privacy after an extremely difficult and emotional week."

Asked if the family would talk to authorities in the UK to find out why Deyanov was released from hospital in Wales, she said: "We will be asking the Welsh Health Authority to conduct a full inquiry into what happened in particular around his treatment in the UK."

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