Nicola Edgington (born 1980) is a British
woman convicted of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility,
attempted murder and murder.
Edgington has a younger brother and younger sister.
Edgington told police that she was abused by her father when younger.
She shoplifted during her adolescence and used violence against her
brother and mother since childhood.
She had stays in care homes at times. She worked as
a hairdresser, shop assistant and saleswoman. According to the Daily
Mail she has been a prostitute, pole dancer and drug dealer.
At age 17, Nicola miscarried twins after being
punched in the stomach by a violent boyfriend and at 19 she was
pregnant again, by a drug-dealer boyfriend, and gave birth to a son
three months prematurely. It was Marion (Nicola's mother) who helped
Nicola care for the baby, until Marion gave the boy to social services
foster care. Edgington married a Jamaican man who is the father of her
younger son. The sons were taken into care and then to Jamaica by her
Killing of her mother
On 4 November 2005, Edgington stabbed her 60 year
old mother, Marion, nine times in Forest Row, East Sussex for which
she was convicted of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility
(based on diagnoses of schizophrenia and emotionally unstable
personality traits) at Lewes Crown Court on 23 October 2006. She was
detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act 1983 and, following
treatment and psychiatric evaluation, was released conditionally in
September 2009, moving into a Greenwich flat.
Killing and attempted killing of strangers
In September 2011, Edgington sent a message via
Facebook to her brother saying she wasn't getting the help she needed,
missed her mother, and had had a miscarriage. She left her phone
number and asked him not to tell their father, Harry, that she had
made contact. Her brother replied that she killed their mother and he
found the body, that the miscarriage was good news, and that she
should kill herself by cutting her wrists.
Edgington sought help from the controversial
Universal Church of the Kingdom of God prior to the attacks, as she
had prior to the killing of her mother, which may have disturbed her
On the 6th, 7th and 9th of October, Edgington
contacted police several times by phone and once in person reporting
that individuals were making death threats against her (naming one
individual), and later that two cocaine users were refusing to leave
her flat and may have stolen from her. Despite initially being graded
as serious and requiring police attendance, no police were dispatched
On the morning of 10th October 2011, Edgington
pleaded numerous times with police and local mental health services to
physically detain her under their legal powers as she felt she was
having another psychotic breakdown, saying she had killed someone
before and that the more scared she became the more dangerous she
could be. Although taken to Queen Elizabeth hospital, she was left
there by police prior to being securely admitted, and the psychiatric
staff decided they were only going to admit her on a voluntary basis
despite her risk profile and secure care plan being in her psychiatric
Later in the morning of 10 October 2011, while
waiting for staff to change shift and admit her, Edgington left the
hospital through a door that should have been locked, took two buses,
and stabbed two strangers in the street in separate attacks in
Bexleyheath. She bought a knife from Asda with which she tried to kill
22 year old Kerry Clark, who survived and took the knife off her.
Edgington subsequently stole a knife from a butcher's shop and stabbed
58 year old Sally Hodkin, who died of her injuries within minutes.
Edgington was arrested later the same morning.
According to psychiatrists, Edgington was suffering
from paranoid delusions and hallucinations, with a religious subtext.
She believed a 100-eyed monster was guarding the throne of God against
enemies, and saw shops looking like a nuclear holocaust had taken
place; she believed Jesus had come back to save everyone's souls
except hers which she couldn't understand as she loved God. She also
felt she was in a computer simulation and had various bizarre beliefs
relating to famous figures and films.
On 7 February 2013 at the Old Bailey, Edgington was
convicted by jury of the attempted murder of Clark and of the murder
of Hodkin. Judge Brian Barker jailed her for life on 4 March 2013,
with a minimum tariff of 37 years.
Barker wrote that despite Edgington's firm
long-standing diagnosis of schizophrenia and probable psychosis around
the time of the attacks, he believed the over-riding factor was
borderline personality disorder (in the UK usually referred to in ICD
terms as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, Borderline Type)
with rational ability. He referred to a recent medical report
indicating no need for hospital treatment for Edgington.
Despite Edgington having sought multiple times to
have herself detained by the police or medical services prior to her
actions, Barker stated that the killing was premeditated in a way that
showed a "consistent and calculated course of criminal conduct".
Barker included the random and unprovoked nature of the attacks as
aggravating factors indicating more guilt, while disregarding the
mitigating factor of mental disability since the psychiatric
authorities disagreed about it.
Killer Nicola Edgington: Officers 'failed to
carry out checks'
March 4, 2013
Police officers failed to carry out checks on a
psychiatric patient who murdered a woman, which would have revealed
that she had killed before, a report has found.
Nicola Edgington, 32, of Greenwich, virtually
decapitated Sally Hodkin, 58, six years after killing her own mother.
The police watchdog said officers had failed to
carry out a check on the day of the murder in 2011.
She has been jailed for life and told she will
serve at least 37 years.
The Old Bailey judge also gave Edgington a minimum
sentence of 20 years, which will run concurrently, for the attempted
murder of Kerry Clark, 22.
She had tried to stab Ms Clark shortly before
attacking Mrs Hodkin, who was a law firm accounts clerk, with a knife
stolen from a butcher.
During the trial, the jury heard 999 calls made in
the hours before the attacks, during which Edgington said: "I need for
the police to come because I've had a nervous breakdown before and I
In the hours before the murder, Edgington called
emergency services four times asking for help, saying she was hearing
voices again and that she was going to kill somebody.
She was taken to two different hospitals, although
she was able to walk out.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission said:
Police in Greenwich were not notified that
Edgington was living in the area following her release from hospital
in 2009 after she killed her mother
Officers and police staff did not carry out a
Police National Computer (PNC) check during their interactions with
her on the day of the murder which would have alerted them to her
conviction for manslaughter
Officers missed an opportunity to use their powers
under section 136 of the Mental Health Act when Edgington tried to
leave the A&E department shortly after she arrived with police
Edgington's second 999 call from the A&E department
was downgraded because she was considered to be in a place of safety
and an officer was not asked to return, despite Edgington saying she
could be very dangerous
'Manipulative and dangerous'
IPCC Commissioner Sarah Green said: "While our
investigation found that no police officers or staff breached the code
of conduct, it is of great concern that no PNC check was carried out
which would have immediately alerted them to Edgington's violent
"Without this PNC check, both the police and staff
at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, were without crucial
information which may have influenced their future decisions,
increased the urgency of the situation and could have escalated the
medical attention she was given."
Ms Green said she hoped both the Met and Oxleas NHS
Foundation Trust - which was managing Edgington's care after she was
released into the community - would "learn lessons from this tragic
case to improve the handling of high-risk individuals such as Nicola
Edgington in the future."
The prosecution said Edgington had a borderline
personality disorder, was emotionally unstable and regularly blamed
others for her situation, while the defence said she had
John Cooper, QC, mitigating, said Edgington was a
woman in crisis and had not been given the help she asked for.
He said she had done what she was told to do; she
had called police and taken herself to hospital and had also called
her mental health support workers while she was on the bus she took to
the scene of the killing, which was also the bus route to Bracton
Centre where she had previously been treated.
But Judge Brian Barker told her: "Your actions on
leaving the hospital were a consistent and calculated course of
"You are manipulative and extremely dangerous.
"These were terrible acts and you must take
responsibility for what you did.
"The fact you failed to kill Kerry Clark was only
due to good fortune and swift reaction. What you did could not have
been more selfish."
'My world fell apart'
In a statement read out to court, Mrs Hodkin's
husband Paul said there was not a day since the attack that he had not
He said the day he heard she had been killed was
when "my world fell apart".
"The thought of not seeing her again has destroyed
me," he said. "Over 40 years of marriage were brought to an end by
someone who shouldn't have been on our streets."
His solicitor, Daniel Rubinstein, said outside
court that the family would be considering further action as questions
remained over the authorities' actions.
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental
health charity Sane, said the case was a "shocking indictment" of
psychiatric services and all of the agencies involved.
"The most worrying aspect of this is that it could
have been prevented. Edgington told people she was not taking her
medication and had become a danger to herself and others, yet felt she
had to prove it to be taken seriously.
"If the system cannot cope with the relatively few
cases of people with mental illness and a history of violence, how can
we prevent the stigma which blights the lives of so many thousands who
suffer from mental illness and are never violent?"
Edgington killed her mother at her home in Forest
Row, East Sussex, in 2005.
On that occasion Edgington pleaded guilty to
manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, a plea accepted by the
Then she was diagnosed with schizophrenia with
emotionally unstable personality traits and was treated as an
inpatient in a medium secure psychiatric facility by the Oxleas NHS
She was conditionally discharged in September 2009
and moved into a flat in Greenwich where she was being monitored by a
consultant psychiatrist, a social supervisor and a community
Freed Killer Nicola Edgington Found Guilty Of
Murder Of Grandmother Sally Hodkin
February 7, 2013
A killer who was freed to kill again was today
found guilty of the murder of an innocent stranger.
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, south east London, was
found guilty of murder and attempted murder by a jury at the Old
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 with the consent of the Justice Secretary.
There were gasps and tears from members of Mrs
Hodkin's friends and family in court. Miss Clark, now 24, watched from
the public gallery.
The jury had been out only five hours and 24
During the trial, forensic psychiatrist Dr Philip
Joseph said Edgington had been misdiagnosed on the evidence available
at her first trial.
He said her actions had been deliberate and not
those of someone who was so ill they did not know what they were
Alison Saunders, from the Crown Prosecution
Service, said: "These attacks occurred on a busy street in Bexleyheath
in full view of passers-by, some of whom were children on their way to
school. They could only look on in horror.
"In both incidents, the prosecution's case was that
Edgington's clear intention was to kill. Our case was that, in doing
these things, Edgington knew and understood what she was doing and
knew that it was wrong.
"On the morning of October 10 2011, she armed
herself with large knives and set upon her victims ferociously.
"Her first victim, who was waiting for her bus to
work, survived only because she was able to fight off her attacker.
Her second victim was not so fortunate and tragically had no chance to
Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn said: "On the
morning of October 10 2011 Nicola Edgington identified her innocent
victims from amongst the many members of the public, most of who were
making their way to work.
"Within a matter of minutes she violently attacked
two women and sadly succeeded in murdering one of them.
"For Sally Hodkin, her day had started out like any
other. She too was making her way into work when she suffered a
violent death at the hands of Nicola Edgington.
"Sally's family has had to endure the painstaking
details of the death of their loved one and they have shown great
dignity during this trial, having attended court every day.
"Sally's death has understandably had a huge effect
on her family and I hope that today's verdict will help in some small
way to alleviate some of their heartache."
After the case, Mrs Hodkin's family issued a
statement in which they paid tribute to her and questioned why
Edgington had been released.
It said: "Sally Hodkin was a loving, caring wife,
fantastic mother and grandmother and terrific friend. There is not a
day that goes by when we do not think about her, she is sorely missed
by all that knew her.
"It has been extremely difficult as a family to sit
in court for the last five weeks and hear the evidence unfold in this
It added: "We cannot quite understand how or why
Nicola Edgington was released back into society so soon after killing
her own mother.
"Her release in 2009 didn't involve any independent
psychiatrists or mental health tribunals; the Ministry of Justice
simply followed recommendations from the Bracton Centre where she was
"This cannot have been the right decision,
otherwise we would not be here today.
"The savage attack on Sally Hodkin by Nicola
Edgington was not a normal stabbing. She continued to attack Sally
whilst she was on the floor. She slit her throat with a meat cleaver
and nearly decapitated her.
"It is our opinion that this woman should never be
released back into society. The public need to be protected from
people like her.
"Sally Hodkin was walking to work on the 10th
October 2011, minding her own business. She did not know Nicola
Edgington, had never met her before, yet was horrifically murdered for
no apparent reason."
Psychotic daughter killed mother in frenzied
By David Sapsted - Telegraph.co.uk
October 24, 2006
A loving mother who lived in fear of her psychotic
daughter was fatally stabbed by the "wayward" young woman in a
frenzied attack at her country home, a court heard yesterday.
Nicola Edgington, 26, had joined her brother and
sister for what was planned as a happy, family weekend at the cottage
of their mother, Marion, in the Ashdown Forest, East Sussex a year
But Edgington, who blamed her 60-year-old mother
for her child being taken into care and had recently discovered that
she had been cut out of her mother's will, stabbed her mother nine
Mrs Edgington had told family members that she
feared her daughter might harm her because of the grievance over the
child being removed, Lewes Crown Court was told.
Edgington, who suffered from schizophrenia, had an
obsession with a cousin who had also killed someone with a knife and
had spoken about murdering someone shortly before she attacked her
mother last Nov 4.
Philip Katz QC, prosecuting, told the court that
Edgington had been sleeping rough in London.
On arriving in Sussex she went to a pub with her
brother Tom but was thrown out because of her bizarre behaviour and
returned to her mother's cottage.
"The defendant went into the house and, after a
row, stabbed her mother to death with a large kitchen knife. She
sought to blame her mother for all her woes," said Mr Katz. "Leading
up to the death, the defendant had voiced hostility quite freely to
her mother and other people. The defendant may well have found out she
had been cut out of her mother's will."
Mrs Edgington's body was found by her other two
children, Tom and Sarah. Edgington had returned to London and was
arrested three weeks later. Julian Goose QC, defending, said Edgington
was suffering a "severe mental illness" and had "no real memory of
what happened in that house".
Edgington admitted manslaughter on the grounds of
diminished responsibility. Judge Anthony Scott-Gall ordered that she
be held in a secure hospital indefinitely.