Bulgarian who beheaded British grandmother in Tenerife supermarket jailed for 20 years

Deyan Deyanov committed the crime during an attack of paranoid schizophrenia, and was therefore not held criminally responsible
  • @James_Legge

A homeless Bulgarian man who beheaded a British grandmother in a Tenerife knife attack will spend the next 20 years in a secure psychiatric unit.

Deyan Deyanov, 29, was convicted of murder by a jury of nine at the Provincial Court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on Friday.

He repeatedly stabbed and then beheaded 60-year-old mother-of-two Jennifer Mills-Westley while she was shopping in Los Cristianos in the Canary Islands, Spain, in May 2011.

Earlier that day, he went into another shop and asked for a knife, saying he was going to kill someone.

After the attack, the 29-year-old  tried to run out of the supermarket carrying the victim's head and shouting wildly. He was tackled by security guards.

He was high on crack cocaine and LSD when arrested, and had claimed in court that he didn't remember ever living in Tenerife, or murdering Ms Mills-Westley.

The court accepted that he committed the crime during an acute attack of the chronic paranoid schizophrenia that he suffered and accepted that he was therefore not criminally responsible.

Magistrate Maria Jesus Garcia Sanchez imposed the toughest sentence available in those circumstances.

She also ordered that Deyanov, who was sleeping rough at the time of the murder, should pay the victim's daughters, Sarah and Samantha Mills-Westley, 100,000 Euros (£86,000.)