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Bexleyheath knife killer Nicola Edgington guilty of murder

media captionThe CCTV footage shows Nicola Edgington before and after the stabbing

A psychiatric patient who virtually decapitated a woman during a stabbing in a London street has been found guilty of murder.

Six years after killing her own mother, Nicola Edgington, 32, of Greenwich, killed Sally Hodkin, 58, in Bexleyheath in 2011, the Old Bailey heard.

Edgington had tried to kill Kerry Clark, 22, minutes before she stabbed Mrs Hodkin, jurors were told.

She denied murder and attempted murder, but was convicted on both counts.

The judge remanded Edgington in custody to be sentenced at a later date.

During the trial, the jury heard 999 calls made in the hours before the attacks, during which Edgington said "I need for the police to come because I've had a nervous breakdown before and I killed someone".

'Getting more dangerous'

image captionSally Hodkin was on her way to work when she was attacked

The defendant was referring to the manslaughter of her mother in 2005, which she had admitted during a court case in 2006 on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The emergency calls came before Edgington pinned Mrs Hodkin to the ground and slashed her throat with a butcher's knife, virtually decapitating her, the court was told.

Shortly before the fatal stabbing, the defendant had tried to kill Ms Clark at a bus stop but fled when her victim fought back and took a knife from her.

In the hours before the attacks, Edgington was in the process of being sectioned.

The jury heard that she had told police she needed sectioning during the calls from Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, before walking out of the hospital and taking the bus to Bexleyheath.

She said she felt she was not being listened to.

In another call she said: "I'm getting more and more dangerous. The more scared I get the more dangerous I'm getting.

"You don't seem to understand."

Released into community

The prosecution told the court Edgington had a borderline personality disorder and her actions were deliberate, while the defence argued she was mentally ill with schizophrenia and her responsibility was diminished.

Following the previous case, she was ordered to be detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act for killing her mother Marion, 60, the previous year.

However, she was released and allowed to live in the community in 2009 where she had been monitored by a doctor, nurse and social worker.

image captionEdgington bought a knife from Asda before attacking Ms Clark

The court heard that in the weeks leading up to the attack, Edgington had a miscarriage and had received abusive messages from a former boyfriend.

She also tried to reconcile with her brother who she had not seen since their mother's death, however in response, he told her to kill herself.

In a statement issued after the verdict, Mrs Hodkin's family said she was "a loving, caring wife, fantastic mother and grandmother and terrific friend.

"There is not a day that goes by when we do not think about her, she is sorely missed by all that knew her."

It added: "We cannot quite understand how or why Nicola Edgington was released back into society so soon after killing her own mother.

"Her release in 2009 didn't involve any independent psychiatrists or mental health tribunals; the Ministry of Justice simply followed recommendations from the Bracton Centre where she was being held.

"This cannot have been the right decision, otherwise we would not be here today."

"It is our opinion that this woman should never be released back into society. The public need to be protected from people like her," the family statement said.

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, responsible for the Bracton Centre, said it completed a thorough investigation which found the decision to discharge her in 2009 was "sound and the care she received in the community following her discharge was of good quality".

Its chief executive, Stephen Firn, said it was "a matter of extreme regret" that Edgington was able to leave the hospital on the morning of the stabbings.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it had carried out an investigation into the police's involvement.

It said it would publish the report once Mrs Hodkin's family and the Metropolitan Police had seen it.

Edgington will be sentenced at a later date.

More on this story

  • Nicola Edgington's cry for help before Bexleyheath attacks