A man will go on trial today accused of murdering and beheading a British grandmother in a frenzied knife attack on the holiday island of Tenerife.

Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60, was killed in the popular resort of Los Cristianos in the Canary Islands, Spain, on May 13 2011.

Ms Mills-Westley was described by her family as someone who was "full of life, generous of heart and would do anything for anyone".

jennifer mills westley

Jennifer Mills-Westley was killed in a brutal attack in Tenerife

Bulgarian man Deyan Deyanov, 29, is charged with her murder and will stand trial before a jury at the Provincial Court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Ms Mills-Westley, originally from Norwich, Norfolk, was inside a Chinese-owned shop on Avenida Juan Carlos when she was viciously stabbed and decapitated.

Deyanov reportedly walked into a shop to ask for a large knife before launching the attack.

After slaying her, he was allegedly heard saying "God is on earth" as he carried his victim's head before horrified onlookers.

Ms Mills-Westley had been living in Tenerife after retiring from her job as a road safety officer with Norfolk County Council.

In that role, Ms Mills-Westley taught schoolchildren cycling safety training and she was described by colleagues as "popular and well-respected".

She had retired and settled in Tenerife, where she owned two apartments in the Port Royale complex on the hillside edge of Los Cristianos.

Neighbours described her as "quiet and peaceful and always immaculately dressed".

Her daughters, Sarah and Sam, said last week they will attend the trial to come "face to face" with her killer and hope to banish memories which have been "shrouded by the brutality of her death".

In a joint statement they said: "On Friday May 13 2011 our lives changed irrevocably when we heard the shocking news that our much loved mother had been brutally murdered in Tenerife.

"Now, nearly two years later, we will come face to face with the man who took her life that day and relive the heart-breaking details of the events leading up to her untimely death.

"Going back to Tenerife not only is a daunting prospect but it will reopen our wounds.

"We have to hope that justice will prevail so we can lay our mother to rest, and remember her in happier times rather than the memories we currently have - memories which are shrouded by the brutality of her death."

In a poignant tribute following her death, her ex-husband Peter told The Mail on Sunday she was a "wonderful woman, a brilliant mother and I loved her dearly".

Deyanov reportedly had a history of mental illness which had seen him sectioned in the UK, where he had lived, and in the Canary Islands.

In the summer of 2010 he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act at Glan Clwyd Hospital in North Wales.

He had been released from a local hospital in February 2011 following psychiatric treatment, according to regional newspaper La Opinion.

And a Spanish judge had issued a search and arrest order for him before the killing for his alleged involvement in a fight where he appeared to be on drugs.

His defence is expected to argue that he was not criminally responsible for Ms Mills-Westley's death because of his mental condition.