Drug addict guilty of murder

Murder victim Jennifer Mills-Westley
Murder victim Jennifer Mills-Westley

A Bulgarian drug addict who beheaded a woman from Norfolk on the holiday island of Tenerife has been found guilty of murder.

Deyan Deyanov, who's 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 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 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, 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.

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.