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Bexleyheath knife murderer Nicola Edgington jailed for life
BEXLEYHEATH knife murderer Nicola Edgington was branded "manipulative and exceptionally dangerous" by a judge sentencing her to life in prison.
The mental health patient, 32, will serve a minimum of 37 years after being found guilty of murdering grandmother Sally Hodkin in the street in Bexleyheath on the morning of October 10, 2011.
The 58-year-old was stabbed with a stolen meat cleaver having never before met her assailant just minutes after Edgington attacked Kerry Clark, then 22, outside Asda with a kitchen knife bought from the supermarket.
Edgington will serve a concurrent sentence of life with a minimum term of 20 years for the attempted murder of Miss Clark, who was listening to music waiting for the bus to work in Dartford when Edgington tried to kill her.
The Recorder of London Judge Brian Barker QC said the attacks were all part of a "consistent and calculated course of criminal conduct" followed by Edgington after she absconded from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich before she was due to be voluntarily admitted to the Oxleas mental health unit.
He said he did not accept the defence case, that much of the responsibility for the defendant's crimes lay with police and mental health workers who failed to deal with a relapse of her severe personality disorder.
Judge Barker said: " You are manipulative and exceptionally dangerous. What you did could not have been more selfish.
“I disagree that the responsibilities for these attacks can be laid at the doors of others.
"These were terrible acts and you must take responsibility for what you did."
In sentencing, Judge Barker took into account the fact Edgington had stabbed her mother to death in 2005.
The 2006 conviction for manslaughter was secured on the basis of diminished responsibility owing to Edgington at the time being diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.
He added: "I cannot ignore the fact that you have killed before and are as near as can be to having three deaths at your door."
Edgington was given a hospital order and released from the semi-secure Bracton Centre in Dartford in September 2009 to live supported in the community in Greenwich.
A statement from the Hodkin family delivered after the verdict by solicitor Daniel Rubinstein attacked the decision to release her.
Mr Rubinstein said: "Whilst the family are relieved that a dangerous woman has been taken off the streets, they remain concerned at the very many questions over the actions of the authorities over an alleged failure to clearly dangerous people in a secure environment.
"They will be considering further action to get answers in the hope that other families do not have to go through their appalling experience."
Mr Rubinstein added the family were keen to be represented at any upcoming inquest into Sally Hodkin's death.