UK & World News
Woman Jailed For Life For Grandmother Murder
A woman has been jailed for a minimum of 37 years for murdering a stranger in a knife attack in the street.
Nicola Edgington had killed her mother six years earlier, but was released to live in the community.
She was found guilty at the Old Bailey last month of murdering Sally Hodkin, 58, and attempting to murder Kerry Clark, 22.
Both women were on their way to work in Bexleyheath, southeast London, in October 2011 when Edgington attacked them with a knife.
She bought one knife from Asda and attacked Miss Clark, who was waiting for a bus.
When Miss Clark grabbed the blade and kicked her away, Edgington ran to a butcher's shop and grabbed a larger knife.
She attacked Mrs Hodkin, a law firm accounts clerk, with such force that she almost decapitated her.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found that a number of police blunders led to Edgington carrying out the attacks.
The 32-year-old made five 999 calls just hours before asking to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act because she believed herself to be a danger.
But Metropolitan Police staff failed to carry out a police national computer (PNC) check on her which would have alerted them to her previous conviction for the manslaughter of her mother, the IPCC said.
Edgington also sought help at a local hospital from where she called 999.
But after delays in admitting her, she walked out.
The IPCC found officers only contacted the hospital following her fourth phone call and said Edgington's second 999 call from the A&E department was downgraded because she was considered to be in a place of safety.
An officer was not dispatched at this stage despite Edgington's claim she could be very dangerous, it found.
Edgington was said to have a borderline personality disorder and was found to be emotionally unstable and regularly blamed others for her situation.
She was ordered to be detained indefinitely at a secure hospital after stabbing her mother nine times in 2006.
Doctors diagnosed schizophrenia and she pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
But medics ruled she was well enough to be treated in the community after three years.
At the Old Bailey Judge Brian Barker told Edgington her behaviour had been "consistent and calculated".
He said: "You are manipulative and exceptionally dangerous. What you did could not have been more selfish.
"I disagree that the responsibility for these acts can be laid on others.
"You made your choice and these were terrible acts for which you must take responsibility.
"You have come as near as can be to having three deaths on your hands."
Edgington was jailed for life with a minimum term of 37 years for murder and given a concurrent sentence of life with a minimum term of 20 years for attempted murder.
Mrs Hodkin's widower, Paul, told the court in a statement: "Forty years of marriage gone, wiped out in seconds by someone that should not have been on the streets."
His solicitor, Daniel Rubinstein, said outside court: "While the family are relieved that a very dangerous woman has been taken off the streets, they remain concerned at the very many questions that remain over the actions of authorities and the alleged failure to treat clearly dangerous people in a secure environment.
"They will be considering further action to get answers in the hope that other families won't have to go through the same appalling experience that they have."