A MENTAL health patient has been found guilty of a horrific Bexleyheath knife murder.
Nicola Edgington, 32, was convicted of murdering Sally Hodkin, 58, and attempting to murder then 22-year-old Kerry Clark in the town centre on the morning of October 10, 2011.
The unemployed Greenwich resident nearly decapitated Mrs Hodkin with a stolen meat cleaver and attacked Miss Clark with a kitchen knife bought from Asda despite having never met either before.
The jury of seven men and five women took six hours to come to their verdict after a month-long trial at the Old Bailey on Thursday (February 7).
Edgington begged police and mental health staff at the Bracton Centre in Dartford to section her during panicked early morning calls from A&E at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich on the day of the attacks.
In recordings played to the jury Edgington said: "You know the last time I was feeling like this I killed my mum.”
In 2006, she was ordered to be detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act for stabbing to death her mother Marion, 60, the previous year.
Edgington was released from the Bracton Centre in 2009 to live in Ambedkar House, Flavell Mews, Greenwich while being monitored by a doctor, nurse and social worker.
She left QEH when waiting to be admitted to a mental health unit through a door which was meant to be locked at around 7am the morning of the murder before taking buses to Bexleyheath.
After Miss Clark managed to disarm her during an unprovoked attack, Edgington stole a knife from the British Meat Marget in Broadway and targeted Mrs Hodkin who was on her way to work as an accounts manager at a legal firm
Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, said: "She set upon her with the bigger knife, attacking her with such sustained force that her neck was cut completely open. She was overwhelmed.
She died almost immediately from the catastrophic injuries inflicted on her."
Edgington claimed she saw shop windows looking like they had suffered a nuclear holocaust and a 100-eyed monster that guarded the throne of God against his enemies in the days leading up to the attacks.
The murderer’s brother Tom Edgington told her to “do us all a favour and slit your wrists” in a Facebook message just days before the murder on September 28, 2011.
He added: “you stabbed Mum to death and left me to find her body”.
Edgington’s defence argued she was mentally ill with paranoid schizophrenia and her responsibility was diminished.
The prosecution said she was suffering from a borderline personality disorder and her actions were deliberate.
Edgington, whose face was hidden by her red hair during most of the hearing, was remanded in custody to be sentenced at a later date.
The verdict means she will be sentenced to life imprisonment and the judge will set a minimum term she must serve before she is released.
She may serve some of the sentence in a secure psychiatric hospital with the consent of the Justice Secretary.
Nicola Edgington - timeline of events
November 5 2005 – Edgington stabs her 60-year-old mother Marion to death at her semi-detached cottage in Forest Row, East Sussex.
October 23, 2006 – After pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at Lewes Crown Court, Edgington is detained indefinitely at a secure mental hospital.
September, 2009 – Edgington is released from the secure unit and moved into sheltered accommodation in Ambedkar House, Flavell Mews, Greenwich.
September 28, 2011 - A Facebook exchange with her brother Tom sees Edgington correspond with her sibling for the first time since the death of her mother in 2005. She says she is “missin mum bad” but her brother tells her to “do us all a favour and cut your wrists.”
October 10, 2011 -
4:45am – Edgington begs mental health staff at the Bracton Centre in Dartford for help in a telephone call from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in Woolwich. She tells the nurse on the phone “I am a very dangerous schizophrenic. If you don’t help me I’m going to hurt someone.”
7:05am - She leaves the Oxleas Unit at QEH without warning and takes two buses to Bexleyheath.
8:15am – Edgington leaves the bus at Arnsberg Way. She goes to Asda and buys a 12-inch knife which she first tries to stab 22-year-old Kerry Clark with. Miss Clark fights off Edgington and disarms her. She then steals an 11-inch cutting knife from British Meat Market which she uses to almost decapitate 59-year-old Sally Hodkin, who was on her way to work.
January 8, 2013 – Edgington goes on trial at the Old Bailey charged with the murder of Sally Hodkin and the attempted murder of Kerry Clark.
February 7, 2013 – A jury finds Edgington guilty of murder and attempted murder.