Three convicted of homophobic murder of consultant psychiatrist in Cardiff park
Two men and a teenage girl have been found guilty of the homophobic murder of a consultant psychiatrist in a Cardiff park.
Dr Gary Jenkins was violently assaulted in Bute Park, in the city centre, in the early hours of July 20 2021.
The 54-year-old father-of-two suffered multiple severe brain injuries and died at the University Hospital of Wales 16 days later, on August 5.
Jason Edwards, 25, Lee Strickland, 36, and Dionne Timms-Williams, 17, who can now be named for the first time, admitted taking part in the assault on Dr Jenkins and pleaded guilty to manslaughter and robbery.
They also pleaded guilty to assaulting another man who tried to protect the victim.
But all three were convicted of murder after an eight-day trial at Merthyr Crown Court (pictured) in South Wales.
The prosecution, led by Dafydd Enoch QC, said the attack had been “motivated by greed, homophobia and straight-up violence”.
The court heard that the three defendants had been “in search of vulnerable gay men who were in the park for sex” to rob.
Timms-Williams, who was 16 at the time, is believed not to have known her two co-defendants before that night.
After meeting them in Queen Street and accepting a can of cider, she walked with them to the Esso garage in Cathedral Road, where she paid for more cans of alcohol.
The trio then entered Bute Park and spent time in the seating area outside the Summerhouse Cafe, opposite the Millennium Bridge.
A key part of the prosecution’s evidence was an audio recording of the attack taken from a CCTV camera located inside the cafe.
Before the clip was played, members of the jury and others in the courtroom were warned about its disturbing content, which gave an account of how Dr Jenkins was “cruelly beaten, robbed, tortured and left for dead”.
Beginning just before 1am, a man identified as Dr Jenkins can be heard repeatedly yelling “Leave me alone” and “Get off me”.
A female voice – Timms-Williams – shouts “Money” and “Now”, before homophobic slurs are used by one of the male defendants, believed to be Edwards, who has a Liverpool accent.
Dr Jenkins makes repeated pleas for his life, asking “Why?” and saying “Please, stop it”.
His moans of pain become quieter before he is unable to speak any more.
Timms-Williams can be heard saying “Get down”, “Do it all over again”, “Do it” and “Hit him again”.
Another male voice at one point says: “Stamp on his head. Stamp on his head too.”
Another says “Keep going” and “Oh, let me stamp on him again”.
The attack lasts for 15 minutes, after which Timms-Williams can be heard saying: “Yeah, I needed that.”
Witness Louis Williams can be heard throughout, attempting to intervene, before the three defendants turn and assault him.
He told police that he attempted to lie on top of Dr Jenkins to shield him from the repeated kicks and punches.
Mr Williams said the three defendants laughed and shouted as they carried out the violence, and he thought Timms-Williams was “evil” and “sadistic”.
“I couldn’t understand why they were hurting him so much,” he said.
Following the attack, Strickland could be seen on CCTV footage heading back to the Esso garage where he bought a bottle of whiskey using Dr Jenkins’ Santander debit card.
Timms-Williams and Edwards emerged from the North Road entrance and hugged and kissed each other for a number of minutes before they separated.
Edwards is seen walking back into the city centre and meeting up with Strickland, where they embrace and both appear to be smiling.
Dr Jenkins’ blood was later found on one of Edwards’ black Fila trainers.
When questioned by police, Edwards denied being in Bute Park that night but did say he thought of it as a “dirty park” because gay men congregate there.
Strickland, who was stopped by plain clothes police the same night, was found to have cut knuckles and his blood was discovered inside the pocket of Dr Jenkins’ jeans.
The clothes worn by Timms-Williams that night were never found, with the prosecution claiming she was “forensically aware” and saying she intentionally got rid of them to avoid DNA evidence being found.
In a prepared statement the teenager gave to police, she said she only joined in with the attack because she had been scared of the two men.
Her defence team also claimed she was not homophobic and that she had been in a same-sex relationship.
Following the verdict, Mr Enoch told the jury that a piece of evidence which had not been put before them was a statement from Strickland’s ex-girlfriend saying he had targeted gay men in the park regularly.
He thanked Dr Jenkins’ family for their “consummate dignity” throughout the process.
Judge Williams sent both Edwards and Strickland out of the dock for laughing and joking, behaviour which he said they had been displaying throughout the trial, before sending Timms-Williams down.
He said the trio will be sentenced on March 25 at their Cardiff or Newport Crown Courts.
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