Freed Killer Guilty Of Murder
A killer who was freed to kill again was today found guilty of the murder of an innocent stranger in south London.
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, was found guilty of murder and attempted murder by a jury at the Old Bailey today.
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.
She had hoped to make a new life but a couple of romances went sour.
The court heard that a former boyfriend from a local gym sent her abusive messages, she became pregnant but had a miscarriage and an attempt to reconcile with her family fell flat.
Messages on Edgington's Facebook page where she signed in as Princess Nicole, were read to the court.
On the day before the killing, she sent a message to her brother Tom saying: "I am missing mum bad. I have just had a miscarriage and to be honest, no one is taking care of me like she did."
It ended "Love you xxx"
But the reply read: "You stabbed her to death and left me to find her body. It's good news about your miscarriage. People like you should be sterilised. Do us all a favour and cut your wrists."
In the early hours of October 10, the day of the killing, police were called when she told cab office employees that she needed to be sectioned.
She was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where officers helped her book in at reception at around 4.30am.
But as they left, Edgington told them she did not feel safe there. She made a series of phone calls and later 999 calls.
In one call, she said: "I'm a very dangerous schizophrenic. If you don't come and help me I'm going end up hurting someone."
Edgington was accepted to the hospital's onsite psychiatric unit Oxleas House, but was not taken there until 6.30am.
But just after 7am, Edgington said she was going to call her care co-ordinator and left. Staff called police.
Edgington calmly took two buses to Bexleyheath, south east London, and bought a large knife from an Asda supermarket.
Miss Clark told the court she had to fight for her life. She said: "I fell to the floor and she was on top of me. I had to fight her off.
"We were grappling. I managed to grab the blade with one hand and kick her off me. It happened very quickly."
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 for death.
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.
"Miss Edgington approached and deliberately and viciously attacked each of these women without warning, without any provocation."