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Freed killer found guilty of murder
A killer who was freed to kill again has been found guilty of the murder of an innocent stranger.
Nicola Edgington, 32, pinned grandmother Sally Hodkin, 58, to the ground and slashed her throat with a butcher's knife, virtually decapitating her. Moments before, she had attacked artist Kerry Clark, 22, at a bus stop but fled when she was disarmed.
Edgington, of Greenwich, south east London, was found guilty of murder and attempted murder by a jury at the Old Bailey.
The prosecution said she was suffering from a borderline personality disorder and her actions were deliberate. But the defence argued that she was mentally ill with schizophrenia and her responsibility was diminished.
In 2006, she was ordered to be detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act for killing her mother Marion, 60, the previous year. She had stabbed her nine times after returning to the family home in Sussex.
By 2009, Edgington was released to live in the community while being monitored by a doctor, nurse and social worker. But as her private life began to unravel, Edgington was unable to cope as she stopped taking her medication, the court heard.
Things came to a head in October, 2011, when she tried to seek help at a local hospital - but walked out shortly after being taken to the psychiatric unit. Edgington calmly took two buses to Bexleyheath, south east London, and bought a large knife from an Asda supermarket.
A passers-by rushed to help Miss Clark, screams were heard round the corner after Edgington grabbed another knife from a butchers. Mrs Hodkin was on her way to work as an accounts manager at a legal firm when Edgington targeted her.
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, 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.