May 26 2013 Latest news:
Bulgarian Deyan Valentinov attends his trial at a court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spain, Monday, Feb. 18, 2013. The trial opened Monday of a Bulgarian man who allegedly beheaded a British woman with a carving knife in a random attack inside a supermarket on the Spanish resort island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Prosecutors demand he should be sentenced to 20 years in a mental asylum because he has chronic paranoid schizophrenia. (AP Photo/Andres Gutierrez)
By TOM WORDEN
Thursday, February 21, 2013
A drug addict accused of beheading a former Norwich woman’s head in a Tenerife shop was a “ticking time bomb” who was let down by social services, a court heard today.
Deyan Deyanov, 29, is accused of the murder of former Hellesdon woman Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60, in May 2011.
On the third full day of the trial today, the court heard how the drug addict accused of beheading her in a Tenerife shop was a “ticking time bomb” who was let down by social services.
Deyanov repeatedly stabbed her with a nine-inch knife just weeks after being released onto the streets from a psychiatric unit, it was said.
Mrs Mills-Westley, a grandmother-of-five, might still be alive today if the Spanish authorities had done their jobs properly, defence lawyer Francisco Beltran claimed.
“He might as well have been carrying a sign saying ‘I’m a bomb and I could explode at any moment’”, defence lawyer Francisco Beltran told the court in the island’s capital Santa Cruz.
“Responsibility must fall to some extent with the health authorities in the Canary Islands,” he added.
“My client is a sick man, not a criminal, and he should have been diagnosed and treated.
“Why was he not diagnosed and treated properly? He was suffering from acute paranoid schizophrenia. Why was he released?”
Deyanov, a Bulgarian immigrant who took crack cocaine and LSD, was arrested several times for outbursts of violence in the months leading up to the murder.
After one arrest he was admitted on January 18 2011 to a psychiatric unit at the island’s Candalaria hospital.
But he was released on February 4, despite suffering from serious mental health problems.
Mrs Mills-Westley, a former Norfolk County Council worker, was killed in an attack in a Chinese-owned general store in Los Cristianos, a resort in the south of the island where she owned an apartment.
Earlier the jury heard Deyanov killed her by slashing her throat from behind with the knife, meant for cutting Spanish ham.
Angel Perez Martinez told the jury Deyanov used “great force” with “a practically uncountable number of cuts.”
Mrs Mills-Westley also had cuts on her hands where she had tried in vain to fight off her attacker, he said.
Deyanov’s DNA was also found under her fingernails, the court heard.
The victim’s daughters Samantha, 39, and Sarah, 43, sat quietly in the public gallery with her brother John Smith, 63, while the gruesome details of her death were heard in Spanish.
Deyanov was overpowered and arrested after running out of the shop.
Psychiatrists Julio Guija Villa and Pedro Garcia Gallardo, who treated Deyanov after his arrest, said he suffers from acute paranoid schizophrenia and hears “irresistible” voices in his head ordering him to kill.
He believed he was a “prophet of God”, they said, adding that his hallucinations were made worse by regular drink and drug use.
Prosecutor Angel Garcia Rodriguez called for Deyanov to be convicted of murder and locked up for the maximum 20 years.
The defence lawyer called for his acquittal, but said that if he is convicted of murder he should be sentenced to the minimum of 15 years.
Deyanov, in handcuffs and wearing a beige jumper, black tracksuit bottoms and white trainers, was asked if he had anything to say in his defence.
“I am Jesus Christ,” he replied in Bulgarian.
On Wednesday a British couple from Warrington, Cheshire, described the horrific moment Deyanov allegedly plunged a knife into Mrs Mills-Westley’s neck.
Susan Bennison said the Bulgarian looked “wild, unclean and not human-looking” while carrying out the attack.
Her husband Kenneth said he wanted to help but ran with his wife from the shop when the realised there was nothing they could do.
Jurors have watched shocking CCTV footage taken inside the shop where the murder took place.
Deyanov previously lived in Edinburgh and Wales, where he was sectioned in 2010.
He denies murder at the Provincial Court in the island’s capital Santa Cruz.