The BBC has reported the conclusion of the trial of Nicholas Salvador, telling “A man who beheaded an elderly woman in her garden in an attack of ‘extraordinary brutality’ has been cleared of murder on the grounds of insanity … Nicholas Salvador killed 82-year-old Palmira Silva in September last year … He will be detained indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital”. Recorder of London Nicholas Hillard gave his reaction to the accused.
“It is established beyond any doubt that you killed Mrs Silva in an attack of extraordinary brutality and ferocity … You thought you were encountering some demonic force which had taken on a human form. You could not have been more deluded … Nobody who saw it could forget the mild and trusting way Mrs Silva approached you over the wall while you were brandishing a knife”. Salvador was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
Who said he was a “Muslim Convert”? Er, “locals”. Maybe “sources”. It could have been one of those “insiders”. But it was enough for the Sun to splash with “Horror In Suburbia … ‘MUSLIM CONVERT’ BEHEADS WOMAN IN GARDEN”. Salvador, it soon became clear, had no connection to Islam. This did not stop the Sun’s repellant head of PR Dylan Sharpe from excusing his paper’s headline and suggesting it was true.
No comment, no apology: Dylan Sharpe
Or perhaps they aren’t: while Ms Silva’s granddaughter Christina told “Every day I wake up and replay the attack on my grandmother in my head. Since the attack I have completely changed from the person I used to be … The thought of being alone in the house terrifies me”, and the impact of mental illness on the family’s lives is laid bare, the Murdoch press know that they didn’t give a stuff about any of that.
[UPDATE 24 June 1350 hours: with the usual lack of self-awareness, the Sun has returned to this story today, putting it on the front page with the screaming headline "Machete killer hooked on beheading videos".
Readers are told "KILLER Nicholas Salvador became obsessed with watching beheading videos before he decapitated great-gran Palmira Silva", but there is no mention at the top of the story that this man was suffering a serious mental illness, nor that the same paper ran that totally untrue "Muslim Convert" headline earlier.
As usual, it's a case of "just buy your papers, and don't ask questions". In other words, the Sun is an insult to its readers' intelligence. No change there, then]