Crime reporter Peter Walsh in Tenerife: Holiday island still haunted by horror attack

PUBLISHED: 09:08 19 February 2013 | UPDATED: 09:08 19 February 2013

tenerife murder locator

tenerife murder locator


The trial of Deyan Deyanov, who is accused of the brutal murder of former Hellesdon woman Jennifer Mills-Westley started in Santa Cruz yesterday.

As I boarded a plane to Tenerife, it struck me that in England, you could be forgiven for not knowing such a high profile case was about to take place.

There was barely a mention in the national papers back home, which were dominated, just as on television, by horse meat scandals and the latest revelations in the shocking story of another murder suspect, athlete Oscar Pistorius.

Neither did the Spanish papers in Madrid, en route to Tenerife, have any mention of what, at the time it happened, had been a huge story.

The flight into Tenerife North in Santa Cruz was a turbulent one with dark, threatening clouds lingering menacingly over the mountain tops.

It was perhaps symbolic of the darkness which has hung over the holiday island since those horrific events on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Tenerife desperately wants this crime to stop haunting it.

I had been told by journalists out in Tenerife that while it was big news at the time, and of course would be again this week, there was a sense of not wanting to give undue prominence to an act of brutality so obscene it defied logic or belief.

It is clear there is still a deep seated sense of shock, dread and perhaps even denial about the awful events of that May day.

And that is how it certainly seemed as I was taken to the picturesque port of Los Cristianos, which provided an unlikely backdrop to a violent nightmare.

The driver who collected me from the airport and took me to my hotel said he did not know of Deyan Deyanov or even the trial I was referring to.

Somewhat surprised, I made repeated attempts to engage him on our hour-long journey, but all to no avail.

Could everyone, I wondered, be oblivious to the significance of the events taking place in Santa Cruz this week? I did not know, but I wanted to find out.

And with that thought, the store where the life of Jennifer Mills-Westley, once a road safety officer for Norfolk County Council, was cruelly taken away loomed up in front of me.

The trial is not being held on Tuesday but see tomorrow’s paper for Peter Walsh’s report on local reaction to the first day.

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