Tenerife murder update: Norwich victim’s ‘stalker terror’
Detectives in Tenerife are facing a barrage of questions today amid reports that a terrified Norwich woman had begged for help just minutes before she was beheaded on the holiday island.
Grandmother-of-five Jennifer Mills-Westley sought refuge at an employment centre in Los Cristianos on Thursday morning where she told social services officials she was being trailed.
A man was reportedly sent away from the area by a security guard before the tearful 60-year-old left the building. She was later decapitated in a nearby supermarket.
A police source working on the murder inquiry told The Sunday Times Ms Mills-Westley had waited in the office until the man following her had disappeared.
She then she walked into the Chinese-owned shop nearby and he went after her.
'He grabbed a large kitchen knife from the shelf and stabbed her at least 14 times in the neck without saying a word,' the source said.
'Eventually he managed to sever her head. He picked it up and ran out of the shop.'
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A 28-year-old homeless Bulgarian man with a police record was arrested after he allegedly fled the Valdes shopping centre.
The suspect, named in reports as Deyan Valentinov D - with Spanish police only providing the first initial of his surname allegedly made off along Avenida Juan Carlos saying: 'God is on earth.''
It is thought he had previously received psychiatric treatment. Regional newspaper La Opinion reported he had been released from a local hospital in February after being involved in violent incidents.
Ms Mills-Westley's family were struggling today to come to terms with her brutal murder.
'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,' her daughter Sarah said.
'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.''
Her ex-husband Peter told The Mail on Sunday she was a 'wonderful woman, a brilliant mother and I loved her dearly''.
Relatives are being helped by consular staff who have been liaising with the Tenerife authorities.
Police are now probing her killer's movements leading up to the attack and studying CCTV and witness statements to establish precisely what happened.
Jose Alberto Gonzalez Reveron, mayor of the island's southern municipality of Arona within the urban sprawl of Los Cristianos, said the supermarket's security cameras had filmed the incident.
Detectives are also investigating their suspect's background to find out if he had been treated on a psychiatric ward and the terms of his release.
Initial reports suggested the murder was random with no relationship between victim and killer.
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.''
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.''
Christina Perez, a legal representative at a nearby court, said a group of lawyers saw the man sprinting out of the Chinese store, carrying the head.
'They saw the man running out of the supermarket with the head in his hands,'' she said.
'A security man from the complex ran after him and jumped on to him so he fell, and then he threw the head on to the road.''
Ms Perez, 38, said her frightened colleagues darted indoors for safety.
'They were shocked. Some of them ran to the office and locked themselves in,'' she said.
Ms Mills-Westley, a retired road safety officer from Norwich, owned two apartments in the Port Royale complex - a development set on a peaceful hillside at the edge of Los Cristianos, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
She was said to have rented out one two-bedroom flat while she lived in the other and had been resident there for at least 10 years.
Phil Gibbs, the owner of Premier management services at the complex, told the newspaper she was a 'very nice lady''.
'She was quiet and peaceful and always immaculately dressed. We are all horrified to hear what happened to her,'' he said.
Her former employers, Norfolk County Council, issued a statement praising her warm character.
It said: 'Our deepest sympathies go to Jenny's family and friends following this terrible news.
'Jenny was a popular and well respected member of staff, who during her time with Norfolk County Council worked as a road safety officer working with many schools and children to teach cycling safety training and make Norfolk's roads safer.''