Crime

Three guilty of murdering doctor who was tortured and left to die in gruesome homophobic attack

Maggie Baska February 3, 2022
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Dr Gary Jenkins

Dr Gary Jenkins (South Wales Police)

Two men and a teenage girl have been found guilty of killing Dr Gary Jenkins in a horrific homophobic attack at a Cardiff park last year.

Jenkins, who was openly bisexual, was brutally beaten and left for dead by the trio in Bute Park in the early morning hours of 20 July 2021. The consultant psychiatrist was left with a severe brain injury that killed him just 16 days later.

Lee Strickland, 36, Jason Edwards, 25, and Dionne Timms-Williams, 17, initially pleaded guilty to manslaughter and robbery.

But all three have been convicted of murder following an eight-day trial at Merthyr Crown Court in Wales. They will all be sentenced on 25 March.

Jenkins’ family said in a statement after the verdict that the father of two was a “kind soul who would never hurt anyone”. They also described him as one of the “most human, kind, compassionate doctors one could ever come across”.

“We cannot bring Gary back,” the family said. “There are no winners in this case, only losers, but as a family, we are relieved that justice is done.”

Timms-Williams, who was 16 at the time of the attack, has now been named for the first time after the judge lifted reporting restrictions.

The court heard during the trial that Jenkins was subjected to vile homophobic abuse, robbed and suffered from horrific violence an attack that lasted roughly 15 minutes.

Audio captured during the attack by CCTV at a nearby café revealed to the court that Jenkins pleaded for his life and asked his attackers to just “leave me alone”.

One of the men could be heard urging others to “stamp on his head” while Timms-Williams instructed, “Hit him again.”

After the gruesome attack, Timms-Williams said: “I needed that.”

Prosecutor Dafydd Enoch described Dr Gary Jenkins’ death as motivated by “greed, homophobia, and a straightforward liking for violence”, adding that it was “torture – pure and simple”.

Iestyn Wyn, campaigns, policy and research manager at Stonewall Cymru, said that it was “deeply shocking and upsetting” to hear about the “brutal attack and murder” last year.

He added that the attack “greatly affected” the LGBT+ community in Cardiff as well as the rest of the country.

“Lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people, should be safe to live their lives without fear, and this horrific incident is a reminder of the hate our communities still face simply for being themselves,” Wyn said.

He continued: “As people across the UK mourn the heart-breaking loss of Dr Jenkins, the Welsh and UK Governments must take urgent action to challenge all forms of anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime, and ensure that every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person is free to be themselves.’

He also offered his “deepest sympathies and thoughts” to Jenkins’ family and loved ones.

South Wales Police detective inspector Stuart Wales described the attack and murder of Dr Gary Jenkins by the three defendants as “cowardly and senseless in the extreme”.

“The degree and duration of unnecessary violence inflicted upon him, together with homophobic abuse – all captured on audio, was both sickening and staggering,” Wales said. “He did nothing whatsoever to warrant this.”

 

More: Cardiff, Homophobia, murder, Wales

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