A SUSPECTED murderer failed to attend a court hearing a day after a grandmother was left dead and another injured in a knife attack in Bexleyheath.

Unemployed Nicola Caroline Edgington, aged 31, should have appeared at Greenwich Magistrates’ Court this morning charged with the murder of 59-year-old Sally Hodkin and the attempted murder of a 23-year-old woman, but the court was told she was unfit to appear.

A security guard said he was “a bit reluctant” to fetch Edgington from her cell because she was “very agitated and uppity”.

A bail hearing is due to be held at the Old Bailey on Thursday and Edgington - of Ambedkar House, Flavell Mews in Greenwich – is expected to enter a plea on January 17.

Yesterday, Bexleyheath was shocked by the news of a knife rampage in which two women, believed to have been unknown to the attacker, were knifed.

A 23-year-old woman received minor wounds while Mrs Hodkin was pronounced dead by the war memorial in Albion Road at 8.41am.

Oxleas NHS Trust Foundation today released a statement which said Edgington had been a regular patient since 2006.

Yesterday at 5am she attended the accident and emergency department at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich.

She was transferred to the mental health assessment unit at Oxleas House on the same site.

Edgington was assessed and given a bed and medication before being voluntarily admitted. At 7am she unexpectedly left.

A spokesman said: “Staff saw her leave and pursued her but were unsuccessful. Up to this point she had not given any indication she intended to leave and had agreed to admission.”

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust said staff notified the police and will carry out a “full and thorough investigation”.