VIDEO: Woman who killed mother guilty of Bexleyheath murder
17:29 07 February 2013
A psychiatric patient who killed an innocent woman in Bexleyheath has been found guilty of murder.
Nicola Edgington, 32, of Greenwich, pinned grandmother Sally Hodkin, 58, to the ground and slashed her throat with a butcher’s knife, virtually decapitating her, the Old Bailey heard.
She also was found guilty of attempted murder after the court heard she attacked artist Kerry Clark, then 22, at a bus stop moments before but ran away when the knife was taken from her.
The incident came six years after she had killed her mother Marion by stabbing her nine times after returning to the family home in Sussex.
The prosecution had argued said she was suffering from a borderline personality disorder and her actions were deliberate.
But the defence claimed that she was mentally ill with schizophrenia and her responsibility was diminished.
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.
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 in Woolwich, 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 took two buses to Bexleyheath, and bought a large knife from an Asda supermarket before attacking Miss Clark.
As 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.”
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.
The jury had been out only five hours and 24 minutes.