Woman (82) Beheaded By Man With Machete In Daylight

An 82-year-old woman was beheaded in a London garden by a man with a machete yesterday.

Palmira Silva, a widow and grandmother, was decapitated outside her house in an apparent frenzied assault by a 25-year-old man who randomly targeted victims.

Witnesses said they saw the man, wielding a foot-long blade, attack a passing vehicle and a cat before roaming back gardens for a victim. Police believe the man also tried to attack two people at another home in the street, Nightingale Road, but they were able to escape without injury.

The man was arrested after armed police, who had distracted him to avoid other attacks, cornered him in a house and brought him down with a Taser stun gun. Some officers were injured.

Ms Silva, who was of ×Italian descent, was pronounced dead at the scene. One line of inquiry for detectives is understood to be that the man was inspired by recent footage of terrorists beheading two American journalists in Syria.

Some residents of the area, in Edmonton, north London, claimed last night that the suspect was a local man who had converted to Islam last year, but those claims could not be verified. Detectives said they had ruled out terrorism as a motive for the killing.

Witnesses described a dramatic police operation in which officers smashed windows of neighbouring properties, carrying screaming children and leading terrified residents to safety.


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