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Nicola Caroline EDGINGTON





Classification: Homicide/Murderer
Characteristics: Psychiatric patient
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: November 4, 2005 / October 10, 2011
Date of arrest: October 10, 2011
Date of birth: 1980
Victim profile: Her mother, Marion, 60 / Sally Hodkin, 58
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: East Sussex/South East London, England, United Kingdom
Status: Convicted of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility on October 23, 2006. She was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act 1983 and, following treatment and psychiatric evaluation, was released conditionally in September 2009. Sentenced to life in prison with a minimum tariff of 37 years on March 4, 2013
photo gallery
Independent Police Complaints Commission report
Sentencing Remarks of Judge Brian Barker

Nicola Edgington (born 1980) is a British woman convicted of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, attempted murder and murder.

Early history

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 ex-husband.

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 further.

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 to investigate.

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 file.


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.

'Hearing voices'

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 killed someone."

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 history.

"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 schizophrenia.

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 criminal conduct.

"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 cried.

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 prosecution.

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 Foundation Trust.

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 psychiatric nurse.


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 Bailey today.

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 heard.

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 did."

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 wrists."

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 someone."

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 a butchers.

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 provocation."

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 minutes.

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 doing.

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 defend herself."

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 case."

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 being held.

"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 knife attack

By David Sapsted -

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 ago.

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 times.

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.



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