Witnesses describe beheading attack
Published 20/02/2013 | 13:16
A British couple have described the moment they saw a man "who did not look human" decapitate a British woman 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". She said: "He looked unclean, wild and he did not look human.".
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. He said: "We heard her gasp for breath. 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.