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Killer who beheaded great-grandmother was insane

By Emily Pennink

The family of a "mild and trusting" great-grandmother who was beheaded in her back garden by a deranged cage fighter wept yesterday as her killer was locked up indefinitely in a secure mental hospital.

Nicholas Salvador carried out the ferocious machete attack on 82-year-old Palmira Silva after beheading two cats during a 45-minute rampage through neighbouring back gardens.

The 6ft, 25-year-old believed he was killing "demons" when he ran amok with a knife and broom handle in Edmonton, London, on September 4 last year, the Old Bailey heard.

CCTV footage taken from a police helicopter showed cafe owner Mrs Silva in a pinny as she mildly approached the bare-chested Salvador over her garden wall. After a brief exchange, the crazed killer vaulted into her flowerbed and stabbed her repeatedly before cutting her head off and holding it aloft, the court heard.

Afterwards, children playing nearby had to be hastily taken out of harm's way as Salvador strode through backyards towards them, brandishing his weapons.

Salvador was eventually cornered in the front room of a neighbour's house and tasered six times during a violent and chaotic struggle in which one police officer was injured.

The jury took 40 minutes to find Salvador not guilty of murder by reason of insanity after two psychiatrists agreed he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph