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British woman beheaded in Tenerife

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A British woman has been murdered in the town of Arona, near Los Cristianos, Tenerife

A British woman has been murdered in the town of Arona, near Los Cristianos, Tenerife

Video grab showing the scene of the attack in Tenerife (AP Photo/Atlas TV)

Video grab showing the scene of the attack in Tenerife (AP Photo/Atlas TV)

A British woman has been murdered in the town of Arona, near Los Cristianos, Tenerife

The British woman murdered and beheaded in Tenerife has been named by her family as Jennifer Mills-Westley.

Horrified witnesses reported seeing the killer run out of a supermarket in Los Cristianos on the Spanish resort island, carrying Jennifer Mills-Westley's head, before being tackled by security guards.

Reports named the suspect as Deyan Valentinov, who is believed to be a homeless Bulgarian man with a police record. He is understood to have obtained a knife from inside the store to launch the attack.

Colin Kirby of Tenerifemagazine.com, who was in the supermarket at the time, said: "There were people shouting. There was a Hispanic-looking guy walking behind me, looking very scruffy, muttering to himself, carrying what I thought was a joke head by the hair. The blood - it just made me think Clash Of The Titans. I thought, 'The guy's a nutter, it's a joke'."

He added: "The security guards came out, they chased him across the road. By this time he's empty-handed. They got him on the other side of the road, just by the cultural centre. A couple of people tried to get him, they flattened him, got him on the ground."

Mr Kirby said he had spoken to an English couple who were in the shop at around 10.30am on Friday when the incident happened. "They said this guy just walked in, pulled a big knife and started stabbing at her," he said.

Mrs Mills-Westley's family paid tribute to her and said they were devastated by her death.

Her daughter Sarah said: "Mum retired a number of years ago and was fully enjoying her retirement travelling between Tenerife and France where she spent time visiting her daughter and grandchildren, and her other daughter in Norfolk. She was full of life, generous of heart, would do anything for anyone.

"We now have to find a way of living without her love and light and we would ask at this difficult time for some privacy as we try to come to terms with our loss."

PA