THE shocked Flintshire relatives of a man suspected of beheading a British grandmother in Tenerife have spoken out for the first time about their troubled nephew.
Bulgarian national Deyan Deyanov is accused of killing Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60, in a horrific attack at the popular holiday resort of Los Cristianos on Friday, May 13.
The 28-year-old lived with his Bulgarian aunt Ani Traycheva-Hilditch and her British husband Alun Hilditch at their home in Flint last year before his departure to the Canary Islands in October.
The distraught couple said they were “deeply sorry” for the actions of their nephew.
Speaking exclusively to the Leader, Mrs Traycheva-Hilditch said: “We have been very upset about it.
“It is hard to bear thought for the things he did – he killed a woman.
“It’s not a nightmare, it’s worse than that. We do not agree with the things he did. We didn’t want him to hurt anyone.
“At the end of the day you have to help a person who needs help and that is what we did.
“We are praying for his actions.”
Mrs Traycheva-Hilditch offered her sympathies to the family of Ms Mills-Westley who is originally from Norwich, Norfolk.
“Our family is in shock just like her family,” she added.
“We send big apologies to the woman who lost her life.”
Mr Hilditch added: “Obviously we’re deeply sorry about what he has done as you can imagine.
“He just came to us dishevelled with no food and no money and like any other family we helped him.
“We didn’t know it was going to turn out like this.”
The couple work together at Rhiwlas and Bod Hyfryd Care Home in Flint and are also members of the River Dee Community Church.
Pastor Stephen Harmes said: “Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Ms Mills-Westley at this sad and distressing time.
“We have been working with Mr and Mrs Hilditch to come to terms with what has happened in recent days.
“Due to the sensitive nature of the case we have very little to say at this stage, concerning Mr Deyanov, other than he was an infrequent visitor to the family in Flint.
“Mr Deyanov wasn’t a member of the church.
“We want to uphold the community of Flint with any help and support that we can give.”
Deyanov is understood to have travelled between North Wales, Edinburgh, Cyprus and Tenerife but returned regularly to Flint to visit his relatives.
He was taken into care at a psychiatric unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan last summer.
A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “The health board can confirm that the client received inpatient care at the health hoard’s facilities during 2010.
“We are currently reviewing all records relating to the case in line with standard clinical procedures.”
Ms Mills-Westley was living in Tenerife after retiring from her job as a road safety officer with Norfolk Council.
It has emerged that she sought refuge at a local employment centre minutes before she was killed.
The grandmother-of-five is thought to have told social services officials in the building that she was being followed by a man.
The man was sent away and Ms Mills-Westley walked to a nearby Chinese supermarket on Avenida Juan Carlos when she was stabbed and decapitated.
Witnesses said her killer left the store clutching her head and was reportedly saying: “God is on earth”.
Deyanov was arrested three times for violent attacks during his stay in Tenerife.
On January 4 he smashed a rock into the face of security guard Fermin Suarez Perez, 45, who was patrolling the seafront in Los Cristianos.
The Bulgarian was sent to a psychiatric unit but was later released on bail.
When he failed to show up at a later court hearing a warrant for his arrest was issued - just three days before Ms Mills-Westley’s murder.
Deyanov is now being held at a psychiatric unit in Tenerife.
Mrs Traycheva-Hilditch and her husband are currently riding out the media storm and staying with family away from their Flint home.