Nicholas Salvador (25) who was arrested for beheading an elderly woman (82) had his fate decided yesterday.
It was September 4, 2014 when the terrifying event took place. Salvador, who had recently been fired from his job, began to tear through people’s back yards with a machete in Edmonton, North London. Footage obtained by CCTV clearly showed Salvador attacking a couple of cats before stumbling upon 82 year old Palmira Silva who was working in her garden. He flung himself into her yard before stabbing her and eventually cutting her head off.
The family of Mrs. Silva were both devastated and anxious. Granddaughter, Christina Silva, said she has “completely changed from the person” she used to be. Mrs. Silva’s daughter, Celestina Muis, said that the whole family “no longer feel(s) safe”.
After being evaluated there were two psychiatrists who spoke up at the trial confirming that Salvador is, in fact, a paranoid schizophrenic. As such, the verdict reached yesterday relieved Salvador of the murder charges he was facing on the grounds of insanity. At the time of the killing he believed he was seeing and attacking demonic forces.
During the trial Nicholas Hillard QC addressed Salvador saying:
“It is established beyond any doubt that you killed Mrs Silva in an attack of extraordinary brutality and ferocity. You thought you were encountering some demonic force which had taken on a human form. You could not have been more deluded. Nobody who saw it could forget the mild and trusting way Mrs Silva approached you over the wall while you were brandishing a knife.”
Being cleared of murder doesn’t mean he’s off the hook. Since the incident, Salvador has been detained at Belmarsh penitentiary but after this verdict he will be moved to Broadmoor Hospital. Broadmoor is a hospital which is high security and imprisons many dangerous individuals with mental illness. Salvador will be detained and treated there indefinitely.
Schizophrenia can be a very damaging and scary illness if not properly treated. Salvador’s legal representation, Bernard Richmond, said that when he isn’t suffering a schizophrenic attack, “Mr. Salvador is somebody regarded as a decent man”. He also stated:
“Mental illness in whatever circumstances can be terrifying for the person and one of the things we have to bear in mind that, after this case is finished, he will have to continue, as his mental state improves, coming to terms with the horror of what he did when he was unwell.”
This event was absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. I can only hope for the family of Mrs. Silva that they can find peace, solace, and a sense of safety knowing that their beloved grandmother/mother wasn’t a direct target of Salvador. It was simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I can also hope that as Salvador begins to receive treatment and understand what he’s done, that he is able to work through his inner turmoil.
WARNING – WARNING – WARNING – WARNING – WARNING – WARNING – WARNING – WARNING
The following video contains footage which may be disturbing and upsetting to some viewers. Proceed with caution.
CumbriaCrack “Footage from air Nicholas Salvador who beheaded a grandmother with a machete” Youtube. 23 June 2015. Web. 24 June 2015.