What the family of the great-grandmother beheaded in her garden said after her killer was cleared of murder

Tuesday 23 June 2015 18:20
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A man who beheaded a great-grandmother in her north London garden last year has been declared legally insane and found not guilty of her murder.

Nicholas Salvador, 25, will be detained indefinitely at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital after being cleared by a jury at the Old Bailey on the grounds of insanity.

During the trial, jurors were shown footage shot from a police helicopter that showed Palmira Silva approaching the topless Salvador outside her garden.

Salvador, armed with a machete, jumped into her garden and stabbed her repeatedly before decapitating her. It's thought Mrs Silva was already dead when she was beheaded.

After the trial, Mrs Silva's family spoke of their horror at her death and the trial, which had to take place as prosecutors cannot agree to a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity - it can only be agreed upon by a jury that has heard evidence from at least two medical professionals.

Celestina Muis, her daughter, said that her "mild and trusting" mother's death had devastated the whole family, and that they "no longer feel safe":

Palmira had a full life, loving her children, grandchildren and great-grandchild. She was very much the glue that held us all together. Our lives have been torn apart knowing what happened to my mother.

Her granddaughter Nikki Wright spoke of the sadness of knowing her ten-month-old daughter would grow up not knowing her great-grandmother.

Another granddaughter, Christina Silva, said:

Every day I wake up and replay the attack on my grandmother in my head. Since the attack I have completely changed from the person I used to be. The thought of being alone in the house terrifies me.

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