UK & World News

  • 5 September 2014, 19:33

Beheading Suspect Under Guard In Hospital

A man suspected of beheading a grandmother after killing a pet cat is in hospital under police guard.

Officers are waiting to question the 25-year-old, who allegedly wandered through back gardens with a machete, screaming and shouting, before he was arrested.

Palmira Silva, 82, was found collapsed in a garden in Edmonton, north London on Thursday before being pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers are also investigating an attempted attack on two people at another house in the same road before Ms Silva was killed.

Tributes have been paid to the elderly woman of Italian descent who ran a nearby cafe.

Dilek Solma, 19, who works next door, said: "I'm so upset. She was a very smiley lady, always had a smile on her face, and loved the community."

Another shop worker Raj Thangavelselvaraj, 50, said: "She was a nice lady, she was a good lady to everyone. It's very sad."

Police carried out a dramatic evacuation operation to save neighbours and an armed team tasered the knifeman as he struggled with officers, leaving one with a broken wrist.

Restaurant worker Freda Odame, 30, said: "I heard shouting and banging and I opened my curtains and saw a guy holding a knife in a back garden a few doors along. He was screaming. I could see he seemed aggressive. He looked a bit frantic."

She added: "I was shaking and I just shut the curtains. I was worried he might see me. Then the police knocked on the door and said 'You've got to get out, you've got to get out'."

Ahmed Yusuf, 19, said: "At first there were two police cars, then all of a sudden there were 20. The police said to drop everything. I said 'What's going on?' and they said 'there's a guy jumping over gardens'."

Another resident described seeing a man brandishing a machete and shouting about cats.

The witness, who did not want to be named, said he also saw a headless cat as he watched the drama from his window.

The man said: "There was a scream so I went to the windows and saw a guy with a machete with blood dripping from it. We saw a cat on the floor without a head. He was standing in the garden and walking up and down shouting about cats."

The knifeman then appeared in the witness's garden and began swiping at plants, he said.

He went on: "He started cutting roses. We were just trying to call the police."

Metropolitan Police commander Simon Letchford said police were trying to establish the attacker's motive, but there are no signs of a link to terrorism.

He said officers smashed house windows to get people out after the man had been "cornered" in a house.

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