Daily news from the Canaries and the islands' biggest English language newspaper on-line
May 13th signifies a year since the brutal and barbaric murder of Jennifer Mills-Westley here, in Tenerife.
- Jennifer’s two daughters, Sarah (42) and Samantha (38) are still coming to terms with the loss of their mother due to such a horrendous act of violence. Jennifer, 60 at the time of her death, had worked hard to build the lifestyle she wanted; being able to spend time with her family in France and Norfolk and also spending time with friends at her apartment in Tenerife where she had been holidaying for over thirty years.
Daughter Sam, who lives in the South of France and is mother to Jennifer’s five grandchildren, said, “Mum lived for her family and friends and loved being able to get away to the sun, she would move between France, Norfolk and Tenerife and was around to help me raise my five children; my youngest, Eli, being only four months old when mum was murdered. I found it impossible to tell my children how their ‘grand-mere’ died although this task was taken from my hands when my thirteen year old daughter was exposed to the awful truth via the explicit detail circulating the internet; distressing my family further, raising questions around mum’s death that I am still unable to answer.
“Mum’s apartment in France is attached to my house and she spent many weeks around her beloved grandchildren, supporting them and playing such an important part in their lives. We all deeply miss hearing her laugh and sing and we feel hollow with all of the gaps in our understanding”.
Sarah, Jennifer’s oldest daughter, added, “I'm absolutely devastated by the loss of mum, she was my best friend and life will never be the same. It's impossible to comprehend how viciously mum was killed; it’s only since Mum’s murder that we have learned how mentally ill the killer was; how he moved from country to country wreaking havoc and the number of signs that, just perhaps, evidenced that he was capable of this type of offence. We have so many questions that are, as yet, unanswered.
The case continues. The family are being supported by Missing Abroad and Victim Support’s National Homicide Service. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continue to provide consular assistance. A spokesperson for Missing Abroad told Island Connections that they expected some movement on the prosecution soon. We spoke to Francisco Beltrán Aroca, the lawyer of the accused, Deyan Valentinov, who confirmed that his client continues to be held in a psychiatric prison in Seville and that the judicial proceeding is continuing its course. Initially it has to be proven judicially that a murder took place and that his client was the culprit, and then an assessment has to be made as to whether he was responsible for his actions at the time.