Dad-of-two Dr Gary Jenkins, 54, was murdered at Cardiff’s Bute Park in an attack motivated by ‘greed and homophobia’
Two men and a teenage girl who murdered a doctor in a homophobic attack have been sentenced.
Dr Gary Jenkins, 54, was brutally beaten, kicked and punched to death in Bute Park , Cardiff, in the early hours of July 20 last year.
Audio of the horrendous attack, carried out by Jason Edwards, 25, Lee Strickland, 36, and Dionne Timms-Williams, 17, depicted Dr Jenkins pleading for help and for his attacks to “Leave me alone” but his cries were left unheeded.
After 15 minutes of being savagely beaten by the group, he was left for dead covered in blood with his trousers pulled down to expose his penis, in the ultimate humiliation.
He was taken to hospital but died two weeks later on August 5.
Edwards, Strickland and Timms-Williams were arrested and later pleaded guilty to manslaughter, robbery and assaulting a man who tried to intervene.
They all denied murder but were found guilty by a jury last month following a trial at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court.
On Friday, Judge Daniell Williams passed his sentence as follows:
Jason Edwards is sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 33 years.
Lee Strickland is sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 33 years.
Dionne Timms-Williams is sentenced to life detention with a minimum of 18 years
Recap the hearing in full:
Earlier in the hearing we heard mitigation for all three defendants.
Ignatius Hughes QC for Edwards said: “We accept it has been a harrowing, tragic and shocking case for the court to hear.
“It would be easy for anyone who read and heard about this case as it progressed, particularly the audio soundtrack, for any normal person it would be easy to regard anyone who participated in this violence as little more than an animal.
“This is an incident in (Edwards’) life which is entirely out of character.”
William Hughes QC, for Strickland, echoed his colleague’s mitigation for his own client.
He said Strickland had no previous convictions for serious violence, and now had “some understanding” of what he had done. The barrister added: “This is a desperately sad and tragic case.”
Caroline Rees QC, for Timms-Williams, said her client was “sorry” and had demonstrated remorse.
She claimed the attack was not pre-meditated by Timms-Williams and there was no homophobic element on her part, referring to the fact her client had previously been in a same-sex relationship.
Man who tried to save Dr Jenkins still in shock
The final victim personal statement is from Louis Williams, who tried to save Dr Jenkins.
He said: “I have been offered help and support since the attack from various different people and agencies, however I find it difficult to accept and I do not want to be. a burden on other people. I still feel that it is not about me, I did not get killed, I feel guilty still.
“I still feel guilt and have questions in my head. Could I have done more to help Gary? Should I have been a better fighter? Was there more that I could have done? This is still going around my mind.
“My mind has been racing and I have experienced a lot of emotions and feelings. I have felt and still feel like I am in a panic at times and feel completely overwhelmed. Sometimes I felt like I was not coping at times. I have been scared for my family and their safety. I lived in the hostel at the time and I’ve been afraid for their safety. Would there be reprisals on me or my friends and family?
I know this has affected my family and friends. I do not want to be a burden to them.
“It sometimes feels surreal to me, like I know it was real but my mind finds it hard to accept it. It is too awful to accept. Sometimes I want to believe it did not happen. It is very hard coming to terms with the dreadful, violent attack.
“I am trying to get on with my day to day life but my thoughts overtake me at times and it still affects me and I start thinking about that dreadful day. I have not been sleeping properly and sometimes wake up in a sweat.
“I am shocked that a juvenile can do such a thing and it has made me question society, why and how a juvenile can do such a thing, is there something wrong with our society?
“My thoughts are with Gary’s friends and family and his children. I was thinking of them at Christmas and at New Year. I do not know how they will cope but I feel a huge amount of grief for them. It brought it all home to me on the day I attended court. This has affected lots of people in so many ways.
“I was very nervous about going to court because of the gravity and serious nature. I had been told from other people that it would be hard for me and my character would be attacked. I was told not to assist the police. But, it was the right thing to do. I had to do it for the victim and his friends and family. I felt sick going to court. The lead up to the trial was very stressful and I found it difficult to cope with at times. I know this is not the answer but I hope when this is over I will be able to get my life on track.
“I have some worries in my head, will anyone target me due to the homophobic nature of it or from anyone whoknows the defendants. I hope not, it is on my mind. However, I really want to move forward now with my life, although this will always be a part of me now forever.”