Tenerife beheading accused “did not look human”, court told
Published 20/02/2013 | 15:47
A COUPLE today described the moment they saw a man "who did not look human" decapitate a grandmother in front of them on the holiday island of Tenerife.
Kenneth and Susan Bennison were giving evidence in the trial of homeless Bulgarian drug addict Deyan Deyanov at the Provincial Court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Deyanov, 29, denies murdering grandmother of five Jennifer Mills-Westley in the popular resort of Los Cristianos in the Canary Islands, Spain, on May 13, 2011.
The 60-year-old, originally from Norwich, Norfolk, was repeatedly stabbed while she was in a Chinese-owned general store near the beach.
Mr and Mrs Bennison, from Warrington, both broke down in tears when they described how they witnessed the attack from just yards away as they shopped during their holidays.
Speaking via videolink from the UK, Mrs Bennison told the court she became aware of what was happening when she heard a "very strange noise".
She looked to her right and saw a man kneeling on the ground, repeatedly stabbing a lady she had previously passed in the aisle.
Asked by defence lawyer Francisco Beltran if she could see the man's face, Mrs Bennison answered "yes".
"He looked unclean, wild and he did not look human," she said.
Mr Bennison explained that there had been no argument and nothing was said between Ms Mills-Westley and her attacker.
He told the jury of nine that Deyanov looked "quite calm" as he carried out the attack.
"We heard her gasp for breath," he said.
"He withdrew the knife out of her neck and then put it back in again.
"That's when I got my wife out of the building."
Answering questions from prosecutor Angel Garcia Rodriguez, Mr Bennison added: "I wanted to help but when he pulled the knife out of her neck I realised there was nothing I could do for her."
Ms Mills-Westley's daughters, Sarah Mills-Westley, 43, from Norwich, and Samantha Mills-Westley, 39, who lives in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France, were in court for the trial's second day.
Samantha Mills-Westley wiped away tears as she listened to Mr and Mrs Bennison's evidence.
Deyanov, wearing a beige jumper and running shoes, shouted "I am Jesus Christ" in Bulgarian as a police officer gave evidence.
Giving evidence on Monday, he told the court he hears voices which tell him he is an "angel of Jesus Christ" who will create a new Jerusalem.
He has been diagnosed with acute paranoid schizophrenia and has admitted he was a crack cocaine and LSD user.
The prosecution is asking for him be sentenced to 20 years in a psychiatric unit.
Police officers who attended the scene told today of the chaotic scenes when they arrived at the shop.
Identified to the court only by their badge numbers, one said: "When I arrived I saw some of my colleagues running towards a kerb where a security guard was with a restrained person who was covered in blood on the ground.
"The security guard said they had seen a head or something like that.
"When we took him to the car people started to shout 'Murderer', 'Kill him', 'Hang him'.
"My colleagues put him in the car and took him took him to the police station.
"Until then I had not seen the head but people were shouting, 'There is a head, there is a head' and on the kerb opposite there was indeed a head covered by a blanket."
The officer said that after he discovered the head he followed a trail of blood into the shop, where he found the body in a pool of blood.
Yiping Chen, who was working in the shop when Ms Mills-Westley was killed, said Deyanov approached her and twice said: "I have cut off the head of a crazy girl."
It also emerged that police dealt with him twice in the days before the attack.
One officer who attended the scene said he stopped the defendant about 10 days earlier in Los Cristianos.
"As I recall it was because this person was throwing bottles at a shopping centre. It seemed he was quite drunk, he had a crate of beers and he was throwing glass bottles at the shopping centre."
Another officer said he found Deyanov having a row with a man at a different shopping centre in Los Cristianos about a week before the killing.
Sarah Mills-Westley told the court on Monday that her mother had become increasingly worried about vagrants on the island.
The trial was adjourned for the day and will resume tomorrow.