Jennifer Mills-Westley’s family issues statement

Jennifer Mills-Westley

Update 17 May: The BBC is reporting that Jenny’s family has issued a statement thanking the police, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Victim Support and Missing Abroad for the help and support they’ve received.

The report directly quotes the family as saying

Without the generous support and help we have received from these people we don’t know how we would have got through to this stage. We can’t thank them enough.

The statement was apparently issued through the Missing Abroad charity, with which I understand Jenny worked, and which said that her family had been reassured that the Spanish investigation was being handled effectively and that justice would be served. It continued that they had been advised not to make any comment on the police investigation or on any aspect of Mrs Mills-Westley’s death. BBC

Needless to say, Tenerife is reeling from this tragedy, and the police have said that there has been a considerable increase in the numbers of women reporting fear of strange behaviour. If there is the slightest grain of any sort of comfort to be derived from this appalling event, then it might lie in everyone’s awareness being raised of the potential problems of homelessness and/or mental illness … and of some potential solutions.

For the moment, the Bulgarian is in Candelaria psychiatric unit, where he is being kept heavily sedated in a special locked room guarded by two police officers.

Update 16 May: I’m sorry if this all sounds somewhat detached, but I am still struggling to assimilate the horror of it all.

The head of Arona Court 4, Nelson Díaz Frías, had issued on 10 May an “orden nacional de búsqueda, detención y personación”, essentially an arrest warrant, against Deyan Valentinov Deyanov, just three days before the Bulgarian was arrested for killing Jennifer Mills Westley.

The order had been issued after the Bulgarian had attacked someone else, causing damage to the man’s teeth. The deranged man’s address was unknown, of course, and he had to appear periodically in front of the courts … which he failed to do.

There was also a report from the Policía Local de Arona in February that he was a dangerous individual who should not be at liberty on the street. At the point of his arrest he told officers that he was “God’s prophet on earth” which confirmed their doubts about his mental state, which showed signs of paranoia and schizophrenia, for which he was consequently detained by the police several times.

What an utter tragedy that he struck so soon after the arrest warrant issued on the 10th, or that the police were not able to apprehend him in the three days before he killed Mrs Mills-Westley, whose body, accompanied by family members, is to be repatriated to the UK within the next few hours. LO

Update 14 May: The British press has named this poor woman as Jennifer Mills-Westley, a retired Norfolk County Council road safety officer who divided her time between Tenerife, France and the UK. The identification is covered, amongst others, by the Telegraph, the Mail, the BBC, and Sky.


Update 11.55: Police sources say that the man had been in Candelaria hospital’s psychiatric unit on more than one occasion and was released last in February. Meanwhile, Manuel Reverón, concejal de Seguridad del Ayuntamiento de Arona, has said that the poor woman was not a tourist but a resident of south Tenerife, though he was unable to specify where exactly she had lived. El Dia

Update 15.55: The Policia Nacional has now confirmed that the victim has been formally identified as a 60 year old British woman, who was shopping in the Chinese store when she happened to encounter her killer. RTVC

Update 14.42: I’ve just this minute listened to the mayor of Arona on TV and the delegada del Gobierno, and they say the man had mental health issues, and had “antecedents”: it’s  not clear whether these are police or mental health antecedents. On his way into the store where his victim fatally and tragically encountered him, he punched and pushed one or two people. The store was the Chinese shop on the right of the entrance to the Valdes Centre at the top of the stairs on the side facing the Cultural Centre.

Update 14.30: The delegada del Gobierno en Canarias, Dominica Fernández, has said that the killer chose his victim at random … they were not related or a couple. The woman has still not been identified. PV

Update 12.00: Press now confirming that the man was a Bulgarian with a criminal record, and that the dead woman was his partner. Reports say that he went into a Chinese shop and stole a sword with which he killed the woman. It’s not clear now whether his partner was actually Chinese.

Update 11.40: The TV is reporting that the woman was actually decapitated, and that her killer carried her head along the street before throwing it into a garden area before being arrested.

The TV news website HERE quotes Manuel Reverón, concejal de Seguridad del municipio de Arona, as saying that the incident seems to have happened when the man entered a “cheap goods” shop and attacked the woman, who was Chinese.

La Opinion is saying the arrested man is Bulgarian.

Original post 13 May 11.24: The emergency services are reporting that a woman was killed after being attacked on Avenida Juan Carlos I around half past ten this morning in Los Cristianos. It appears her throat was cut. At the moment details are still coming in. All that’s being reported at the moment is that there were several ambulances at the scene, as well as National and Local Police, but the severity of the attack was such that they could do nothing to save her life. The Avenida Juan Carlos I is the main road down from the motorway into the town, and past the back of the Valdes Centre and then straight down the hill past the Princesa Dácil hotel. Cecoes112

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