Beheading accused claims to be ‘angel of Christ’

Samantha Mears, daughter of beheaded grandmother Jennifer Mills-Westley. Picture: Getty
Samantha Mears, daughter of beheaded grandmother Jennifer Mills-Westley. Picture: Getty
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A MAN accused of decapitating a grandmother on the holiday island of Tenerife told a court he is an “angel of Jesus Christ” sent to create a new Jerusalem.

Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60, originally from Norwich, Norfolk, was repeatedly stabbed and then beheaded while shopping in the popular resort of Los Cristianos on 13 May, 2011.

Deyan Deyanov said he was directed by voices in his head. Picture: Getty

Deyan Deyanov said he was directed by voices in his head. Picture: Getty

Homeless Bulgarian drug addict Deyan Deyanov, 29, yesterday denied murdering the grandmother of five as his trial at the Provincial Court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife got under way.

Answering questions in Bulgarian with the help of an interpreter, Deyanov told the court that he is haunted by voices in his head which tell him how to act.

He claimed that they told 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.

After watching “tough” CCTV footage of the attack, he said it was “a montage, a film” and claimed that he did not recognise himself in the images.

Jennifer Mills-Westley was attacked while out shopping

Jennifer Mills-Westley was attacked while out shopping

Deyanov, who worked as a labourer in Edinburgh for two years, said he had been using crack cocaine and LSD before his arrest, but had no memory of living in Tenerife.

Asked if he knew he was in Tenerife after being brought there from a psychiatric unit in Seville on the Spanish mainland, he said: “I have just found out.”

He also denied that he had lived in Wales, where he was sectioned in summer 2010 under the Mental Health Act at Glan Clwyd Hospital. Deyanov has been diagnosed with acute paranoid schizophrenia.

The jury were shown two 22cm-long (8.7 inches) “ham knives”, with one visibly bent and bloodied.

Prosecutor Angel Garcia 
Rodriguez told the court of the moment the frenzied attack took place. Mr Garcia Rodriguez said: “The accused approached Jennifer Mills-Westley, whom he did not know and who was shopping, attacking and striking her repeatedly with a knife in her back and neck until she was completely decapitated.”

He said the prosecution was seeking for Deyanov to be sentenced to 20 years in a psychiatric unit.

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, looked visibly shaken as they 
attended the trial yesterday. Also at the court were Jennifer Mills-Westley’s brother John Smith, 63, and sister-in-law, Julie Smith, 62.

As the jury was shown the CCTV footage, Samantha Mills-Westley covered her mouth in horror and stared into the distance. Giving evidence later, Sarah Mills-Westley said: “All I want to see is justice done for my mum today.”

Witness Davide Balsamo, an Italian who has lived in Tenerife for five years, described the moment he stumbled on the horrific scene coming out of a hardware store.

He said: “I saw a guy walking around with a head in his hand. I came out of the shop and suddenly I saw him come off the kerb, completely covered in blood. I ran up to him and hit him with all my strength using my motorcycle helmet and knocked him silly.”

Francisco Beltran, for the defence, told the jury that his client was in “total disagreement” with the charge of murder against him. He also 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 of a mental condition.

The trial was adjourned and will start again tomorrow.