Tenerife beheading: Man guilty

Deyan Deyanov, 29, has been found guilty by a jury at the Provincial Court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, of murdering grandmother Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60, who he decapitated on the holiday island in May 2011.

Beheaded woman was 'our mum, mentor & best friend'

Jennifer Mills-Westley's family have paid an emotional tribute to her following Deyan Deyanov's sentencing of up to 20 years in prison for her murder.

Since the May 13 2011, Jennifer Mills-Westley has become known as the lady who was beheaded in Tenerife.

The truth is she was our mum, our mentor and our best friend.

She was a highly gifted, selfless person with so much love in her heart and who has been taken away from us in her prime.

It's hard to put into words the devastating impact that this preventable and needless act has had on us as a family - sadly mum was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We would like to thank the jury for having the courage to sit through this trial.

But while today sees the conclusion of the legal process, lessons must be learnt from this tragic event to ensure justice is done for our mum and to ensure that no other family has to be subjected to this ordeal.

It is clear to us that there has been a catalogue of failings - unfortunately it is now left to us to piece these together as we still have so many unanswered questions.

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.

– Joint family statement issued through charity Missing Abroad

Man guilty of Tenerife beheading

The jury found that Deya Deyanov was guilty of murdering 60-year-old grandmother Jennifer Mills-Westley 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.

Wearing an olive green hoodie, black tracksuit trousers and running shoes, Deyanov remained quiet and still as the verdict was read out.

Asked by magistrate Maria Jesus Garcia Sanchez if he had anything he wanted to say, he told his Bulgarian interpreter:

I am the the second reincarnation of Jesus Christ and I will bring the fire of the Holy Spirit to bear against this court.

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Bulgarian repeatedly stabbed British grandmother in Tenerife

Jennifer Mills-Westley a retired road safety worker originally from Norwich, was attacked while she was in a Chinese-owned general store near the beach.

That morning, Deyan Deyanov had walked into another shop and asked for a knife "this big" because he was going to kill someone.

Jennifer Mills-Westley
Jennifer Mills-Westley Credit: PA

At 10.30am he went into the Mas Articulos Mejor Precios shop on Avenida Juan Carlos I, 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.

Man guilty of Tenerife beheading faces up to 20 years in prison

Homeless Deyan Deyanov, 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, 60, who had been shopping in the popular resort of Los Cristianos on 13th May, 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.

Couple describe Tenerife beheading attack

A British couple described seeing a man "who did not look human" decapitate a grandmother in front of them in Tenerife.

Kenneth and Susan Bennison broke down in tears whilst giving evidence in the trial of homeless Bulgarian drug addict Deyan Deyanov in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

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. She said:

He looked unclean, wild and he did not look human.

Read: Tenerife grandmother beheading trial

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Tenerife murder trial begins

The family of a woman from Norfolk savagely attacked in Tenerife, today came face to face with her alleged killer.

60-year-old Jennifer Mills-Westley had retired to the holiday island when she was the victim of a gruesome crime.

Today (Monday) her two daughters watched in horror as close circuit television footage of the attack was shown in court.

The man accused of murdering her told the jury he'd been haunted by voices - and sometimes they told him to kill.

Tenerife beheading: Accused was 'haunted by voices'

Deyanov told the court he is haunted by voices which tell him how to act. Credit: ITV News

Francisco Beltran, for the defence, told the jury his client was in "total disagreement" with the charge of murder against him.

"He has committed no crime, and it goes without saying that he has not committed the crime of murder," Mr Beltran said.

He asked the jury of nine to see his client as a "sick man" who had been living in the street without a diagnosis or treatment for his acute schizophrenia. Answering questions in Bulgarian with the help of an interpreter, Deyanov told the court he is haunted by voices which tell him how to act.

He claimed they were telling him he was "an angel of Jesus Christ who is going to create a new Jerusalem".

"They direct how I act, sometimes they say kill, fight, hit, pray," he said.

Read: Tenerife gran beheading trial.

Man in court over Tenerife beheading murder

Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60. Credit: PA

The family of a woman who was decapitated on the holiday island of Tenerife came face to face with her alleged killer in court. Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60, was shopping in the popular resort of Los Cristianos in the Canary Islands, Spain, on May 13 2011 when she was attacked and stabbed repeatedly.

Her daughters, Sarah Mears, 43, and Samantha Gomes, 38, were at the Provincial Court in Santa Cruz for the first day of the trial of Bulgarian man Deyan Deyanov. Deyanov, 29, denied murdering the grandmother of five inside a Chinese-owned shop on Avenida Juan Carlos I.