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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Crazed knifeman decapitates British woman in busy Tenerife shopping centre and runs through the streets with her head

By Tom Worden and Tom Kelly

-Attacker ran through palm tree-lined streets carrying victim's bloodied head
-The homeless killer had recently been released from psychiatric hospital
-Pensioner was 'stalked' by murderer in days before the attack

Horror: The bloodstained man lies on the street in Tenerife after beheading a British woman in a shop in the holiday resort

A British woman was today decapitated by a madman with a machete on the holiday island of Tenerife.

The crazed killer stabbed the 62-year-old a number of time before cutting off her head without uttering a word in a shopping centre in Los Cristianos, in Tenerife.

Witnesses said he then fled the store with the severed head in his hands, with blood dripping on the floor.

Wrestled to the ground: The man had been running through the town brandishing the woman's head before being tackled by a motorcyclist

Brave: Witnesses said he was only felled after a biker (centre of picture) flung his helmet at him

As the 28-year-old attacker ran through the streets of the holiday island carrying the victim’s head, security guards and a number of witnesses gave chase.

He was eventually cornered after a passing Italian motorcyclist, named only as David, hurled his helmet at the man’s face.

The knifeman stumbled, dropped the head and the biker jumped on him. He struggled to break free but was held by the motorcyclist and other pursuers until police arrived.

Security guards leapt on the attacker and held him until police arrived at the shopping centre.

Last night questions were raised about why Spanish authorities had allowed him the attacker, a 28-year-old homeless Bulgarian, to wander the streets.

Spanish media reported that he had convictions for violence and was recently treated in a psychiatric unit.

Local mayor José Reverón said the man was known in the resort for his bizarre behaviour, including intimidating passers-by and ranting that he was 'a prophet of God'.

Haunting: The victim's head lies on the ground covered only by a sheet as stunned crowds held back by police tape look on

Gruesome: The victim's body is carried away on a stretcher from the shop where she was decapitated. Police arrived on the scene and sealed off the area

Murder scene: Police and medics hold a sheet around the head of the woman after it was dropped onto the ground by the attacker who ran away from the shop

Policemen secure the area around a supermarket: Dozens of people had come out of their apartments to find out what had happened

Colin Kirkby, a 50-year-old British journalist who witnessed the attack, told MailOnline that the man probably picked up the knife inside the shop – and there was no apparent motivation.

‘A middle-aged English couple in the shop said it came out of the blue and there was no real disturbance, there are security guards in the centre that would have been on the scene quickly,’ he said.

‘The shop sells cheap souvenir sword-like blades and I think if he had walked into the shop with the blade he would have been stopped by security and that’s what people are thinking.’

Mr Kirkby added that it was so surreal he thought the ‘scruffy’ man, aged in his 20s, was carrying a ‘joke’ head.

‘I could hear people shouting and screaming and the guy was walking along the footpath slowly muttering to himself carrying the head – it was very surreal,’ he said.

‘I couldn’t hear what he was muttering and seemed to be oblivious to everything around him and was sort of rambling.

‘He was holding the head by the hair and I couldn’t help but think of the image in the Clash of the Titans where a man is beheaded.

‘One of the things was there wasn’t a lot of blood everywhere and there was no weapon on him.

‘He was not the smartest looking of guys and not well groomed, I don’t know if he was sleeping rough.’

He added that when the man was bundled to the floor by security he was not screaming and thrashing to get away.

Araceli Perez, 33, who works nearby, said:'He must be insane because he was running away with his head in her hands.'

An eye-witness told local radio: 'I was parking my car outside the supermarket and I saw this man running out with something bloody in his hands.

'It was a head. He had it in his hands. The security guards chased him and threw him to the floor and overpowered him.'

Trail: Blood stains remain on the pavement next to a white sheet after the atrocity in the tourist resort

Resort: Residents gather in the palm-tree lined streets next to the shopping centre where the murder took place

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