edmonton beheading
Nicholas Salvador denies murdering 82-year-old Palmira Silva by reason of insanityMet Police

A man who is accused of beheading an 82-year-old woman in north London believed he was "killing Hitler back from the dead", a court heard today (22 September).

Nicholas Salvador, 25, is accused of murdering great-grandmother Palmira Silva and killing two cats during a 45-minute "rampage" in Edmonton last September.

Salvador, described as a paranoid schizophrenic, had to be Tasered six times by police as they tried to arrest him after Silva was found hacked to death in her back garden.

At the time of the murder, Salvador was living three doors away with a "host" family. Appearing at the Old Bailey, the court heard how before attacking Silva at her home, Salvador had killed two of his host family's cats believing they were "demons".

Salvador also attacked a car with two members of his host family inside before jumping into Silva's garden and cutting off her head off with a machete.

The defendant then ran through a series of gardens at the back of the terraced houses.

He was finally arrested by armed officers in the front room of another house "after a violent and chaotic struggle". During the arrest, Salvador could be heard repeating phrases such as "red is the colour" and "I am the king", the court heard.

Salvador has been held at the maximum security Broadmoor Hospital since his arrest.

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees told the jury: "At the start of the rampage he effectively decapitated two cats belonging to his host family.

"The evidence suggests he thought they were demons.

"There is no dispute that it was the defendant, Nicholas Salvador, who killed Palmira Silva.

"The evidence indicates he was suffering from a severe mental illness, paranoid schizophrenia, and was delusional when this episode took place."

Rees added: "At the time of the killing he thought he was killing some sort of supernatural entity such as Hitler back from the dead."

Salvador was reportedly displaying signs of "odd behaviour" prior to the attack, including developing an interest in shapeshifters.

Salvador denies murder by reason of insanity as well as Actual Body Harm (ABH) and assaulting a police officer.

The trial continues.