Drug addict who beheaded a grandmother given 20 years in psychiatric unit
A drug addict who beheaded a British grandmother in a frenzied knife attack on the holiday island of Tenerife has been sentenced to 20 years in a secure psychiatric unit.
Homeless Bulgarian Deyan Deyanov, 29, was convicted of murder by a jury of nine at the Provincial Court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on Friday.
He repeatedly stabbed and beheaded Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60, while she was shopping in the popular resort of Los Cristianos in the Canary Islands, Spain, on May 13 2011.
In a written sentence, magistrate Maria Jesus Garcia Sanchez imposed the toughest tariff available for the schizophrenic, who the jury found had diminished responsibility for his crime.
She also ordered that Deyanov, who was living rough when he randomly murdered Ms Mills-Westley, should pay her daughters, Sarah and Samantha Mills-Westley, €100,000.
During a four-day trial, Deyanov denied murder and said he did not recognise himself in CCTV footage of the attack shown to the jury.
He also claimed to hear voices which tell him he is an "angel of Jesus Christ", sent to create a new Jerusalem.
In her written sentence Ms Garcia Sanchez said she took into account the "criminal danger" Deyanov represented.
She said Ms Mills-Westley had had no chance given the "forceful and unexpected" nature of the attack she suffered.
"Frequently, homicidal intent is something which must be inferred," she added.
"In this case, homicidal intent exists without a doubt and inferences are unnecessary."
Ms Mills-Westley, a retired road safety worker originally from Norwich, had complained that Tenerife was less safe than when she started visiting 30 years ago.
Deyanov 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.
After the trial, Sarah Mills-Westley, 43, from Norwich, and Samantha, 39, who lives in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France, said a "catalogue of failings" by "a number of authorities" led to their mother's death.
They said: "We would like to make a plea that the care of people like Deyan Valentinov Deyanov is taken more seriously.
"He is a young man who has clearly been failed by a number of authorities, in the UK, Spain and most likely others."
On the morning of the murder, in a Chinese-owned general store near the beach, Deyanov 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.
The jury found that Deyanov was guilty of murder because he took his victim by surprise and she could not defend herself.
Even though he was suffering schizophrenia and his responsibility was diminished, in Spanish law he is guilty of murder.
Asked if he wanted to add anything after his verdict was read out, he said: "I am the the second reincarnation of Jesus Christ and I will bring the fire of the Holy Spirit to bear against this court."