Bexleyheath murder accused 'unfit' for court

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The Independent Online

A woman accused of stabbing a grandmother to death with a butcher's knife was unable to attend court today because of "extreme" mental health problems.

Unemployed Nicola Edgington, 31, is charged with killing law firm accounts manager Sally Hodkin, 59, in a busy shopping street in Bexleyheath, south east London, yesterday.

Edgington, of Ambedkar House, Flavell Mews, Greenwich, south east London, is also charged with the attempted murder of 23-year-old Kerry Clark, who was attacked with a knife as she waited at a bus stop.

Today, a psychiatrist said Edgington was unfit to be taken into the courtroom to face charges.

Addressing Greenwich Magistrates' Court, Dr Amit Chatterjee said: "I had the opportunity to meet her this morning. She does have extreme mental health problems.

"I don't think she is fit to attend court in her mental state."

A Serco security guard summoned to describe Edgington's condition said the woman was "agitated".

Lisa Moriarty told the court: "At the moment she is in a cell with three officers but I am a bit reluctant to bring her up with everyone around.

"She seems to be very agitated with people in the cells, she's getting very agitated and uppity."

Mrs Hodkin is understood to have been on her way to work at law firm Cunningham Blake when she was apparently stabbed in the neck.

She is believed to have lived locally and was pronounced dead at 8.41am.

There was no answer at Cunningham Blake last night but a voice message said the office was closed due to a bereavement and would reopen today.

Edgington, who was represented by her solicitor, Callum Haddow, was told her case will be heard next at the Old Bailey on Thursday when a bail application is due to take place.

A plea and case management hearing was scheduled for January 17.