Bulgarian Deyan Deyanov Found Guilty of Beheading Jennifer Mills-Westley in Tenerife

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By Ewan Palmer | February 23, 2013 5:45 AM EST

Jennifer Mills-Westley was killed while in Tenerife

A Bulgarian who cut the head off a British grandmother at a supermarket in Tenerife has been found guilty of her murder.

Deyan Deyanov, 29, a homeless drug addict who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, was found guilty of beheading 60-year-old Jennifer Mills-Westley at the popular holiday resort of Los Cristianos in May 2011.

Deyanov now faces 15 to 20 years in a psychiatric unit after being convicted by a jury at the Provincial Court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Deyanov's lawyers had argued he was not criminally responsible for repeatedly stabbing and beheading Mills-Westley because of his acute schizophrenia. 

However, the jury found him guilty of the murder of the retired road safety worker, originally from Norwich, as he surprised his victim and did not give her a chance to defend herself. Spanish law dictates a person can still be found guilty of murder despite diminished responsibility on the grounds of mental illness. 

When asked if he had anything to say following his conviction, Deyanov told the court: "I am the second reincarnation of Jesus Christ and I will bring the fire of the Holy Spirit to bear against this court."

During the trial, Deyanov previously told the court how he heard voices that told him he was an "angel of Jesus Christ who is going to create a new Jerusalem" and these voices "direct how I act, sometimes they say kill, fight, hit, pray".

The court heard how the 29-year-old had purchased the knife on the morning of the attack because he wanted to kill somebody.

On 13 May 2011, he approached Mills-Westley and repeatedly stabbed the grandmother-of-five in the neck.

He then removed and carried her severed head through the street, shouting wildly, before being wrestled to the ground by security guards.

Known to be a frequent crack cocaine and LSD user, police issued a warrant for Deyanov's arrest had just three days before the killing but officers were unable to find him.

Following the conviction, Mills-Westley's daughters said: "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.

"Words alone cannot express our thanks to the support provided by Victim Support and the Lucie Blackman Trust - Missing Abroad. However, despite our expectations, we have been disappointed by the lack of any other support; notably the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our Mum's MP in her hometown of Norfolk."

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