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Police helicopter filmed Nicholas Salvador beheading grandmother Palmira Silva with knife

By Emily Pennink

Published 23/06/2015

Murdered: Palmira Silva (82)
Murdered: Palmira Silva (82)

A deranged man was caught on helicopter CCTV beheading a grandmother in her back garden with a machete during a 45-minute rampage.

Nicholas Salvador (25) had already beheaded two cats and was searching neighbouring gardens for more to kill, believing them to be "demons", when he came across 82-year-old Palmira Silva, the court heard.

In his demented state, the paranoid schizophrenic killed Mrs Silva believing she was a supernatural entity - either Hitler back from the dead or a demon in the guise of a little old lady, jurors were told yesterday.

Before the killing on September 4 last year, Salvador had been staying with friends three doors away from Mrs Silva in Nightingale Road, Edmonton, north London.

At 1pm, he armed himself from the house with the large knife and a wooden pole. He killed the two family pets before making his way through a few back gardens.

He smashed his way into a neighbouring house and attacked a car containing two members of the family who he was living with.

He then went back through the house and into an alleyway that ran alongside Mrs Silva's home where he came across the victim, jurors were told.

Video footage taken from a police helicopter overhead showed Mrs Silva, wearing a pinny over a dark skirt and white blouse, approaching the bare-chested Salvador over her garden wall.

After a brief exchange, Salvador vaulted into her well-tended flower bed and stabbed her repeatedly before cutting her head off, the court heard. The final moments of Mrs Silva's life and the immediate aftermath were edited out of the harrowing 14-minute clip shown at the Old Bailey in front of a jury and members of the victim's family.

Salvador was slippery with blood and sweat when he was eventually apprehended by armed police officers who tasered him six times.

His arrest was described by prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC as "violent and chaotic" and involved Salvador, who is heavily built and about 6ft, being kicked and punched to little effect.

In the struggle, one of the officers, Pc Bernard Hamilton, received a leg injury which needed hospital treatment.

After being charged with Italian-born great grandmother Mrs Silva's murder, Salvador was remanded in custody at Belmarsh prison but was later moved to high-security Broadmoor Hospital..

The skunk cannabis smoker, from Enfield, denies murder by reason of insanity.

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph

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