Woman found guilty of murder
killer who stabbed a grandmother to death in a random street attack
had been freed from a secure mental health unit in Dartford just
two years earlier.
Schizophrenia sufferer Nicola
Edgington, 32, brutally attacked 58-year-old Sally Hodkin with a
12in butcher’s knife in Bexleyheath in October 2011.
The wound to her neck almost
Minutes earlier she had tried to stab
another woman, Kerry Clark, as she waited to catch a bus to her
work in Dartford Heath.
Edgington denied murder and attempted
murder but was convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey yesterday.
The court heard she had spent three
years being treated as an inpatient at the Bracton Centre, off
Leyton Cross Road, after admitting the manslaughter of her mother,
She had been stabbed to death in
The unit is part of Oxleas NHS
Foundation Trust, which is based in Pinewood Place, Dartford, and,
according to its website, offers a range of ‘specialist forensic
mental health services’ for people aged 18 to 65.
Edgington had been made subject to an
indefinite hospital order under the Mental Health Act and was at
the centre from 2006 to 2009.
In September that year she was
released into supported accommodation in Greenwich, where she was
regularly monitored by a team of medical experts.
However, the court was told she had
stopped taking her medication by the time she fatally stabbed Mrs
Just hours earlier she had also been
taken to Oxleas House in Woolwich, another psychiatric unit run by
the trust, after she reportedly told a hospital nurse she might
But she left the unit before she could
be admitted and headed to Bexleyheath.
At the end of the trial Oxleas NHS
Foundation Trust chief executive Stephen Firn apologised to Mrs
Hodkin’s family and expressed his "sincere condolences".
But he said an investigation had
concluded that the decision to release her into the community was
"The trust inquiry report concluded
that the decision to recommend to the Ministry of Justice that
Nicola Edgington was discharged from the Bracton Centre in 2009 was
sound and the care she received in the community following her
discharge was of good quality," he said.
Mr Firn added that it was a matter of
"extreme regret" that Edgington, who will be sentenced at a later
date, was able to leave Oxleas House before being admitted and that
an independent inquiry will now be held in line with NHS
Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn
of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command 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
"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
"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.
"This case has been a complex one and
my team of officers has worked tirelessly to piece together what
happened that day.
"We were greatly assisted by CCTV from
the surrounding streets and the picture that emerged was a deeply
"I would like to personally thank the
witnesses who came forward to help us with this case as their
assistance has helped us to secure today’s verdict and hopefully
this will brining some form of closure for those affected."