Dad-of-two Dr Gary Jenkins, 54, sustained life-threatening injuries ‘at the hands of the trio’ in Bute Park and died two weeks later
Image: MEDIA WALES)
A doctor was “beaten and robbed” by two men and a teenage girl who “laughed as they tortured him to death” at a Cardiff park, a murder trial has been told.
Dad-of-two Dr Gary Jenkins, 54, sustained life-threatening injuries in an incident in Bute Park in the early hours of Tuesday, July 20 last year.
Dr Jenkins, who was described as “a loving father, husband and brother” in a statement issued by his family following his death, subsequently died of a severe brain injury at the University Hospital of Wales two weeks later.
Jason Edwards, 25, and Lee William Strickland, 36, both from Cardiff, and a 17-year-old girl who cannot be named for legal reasons, are on trial at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, where they have all denied murder charges.
The teen has been described as “evil and sadistic” by a witness for her part in the attack, which was thought to have been a homophobic attack on Dr Jenkins, who was reportedly bisexual, Sun Online reports
WALES NEWS SERVICE)
WALES NEWS SERVICE)
Edwards, of Litchfield Court, Riverside, Strickland, of no fixed abode, and the youth have each admitted charges of manslaughter, robbery of a bag, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Prosecutor Dafydd Enoch, opening the case on Tuesday, said the killing was motivated by “greed, homophobia, and a straightforward liking for violence.”
He told the jury: “The man at the center of this case encountered the worst traits of humankind and despite the best efforts of one person he could not find the protection.”
Mr Enoch added: “Dr Gary Jenkins was a 54-year-old consultant psychologist living and working in Cardiff.
“On July 20 last year in the early hours of the morning was in Bute Park in Cardiff where he was viciously beaten, robbed, tortured and left for dead by these three defendants in the dock.
“It was a beating apparently motivated by greed, homophobia, and a straightforward liking of violence. All three defendants accept that they all were present when Dr Jenkins was attacked.”
He said: “The chilling attack was recorded by a nearby CCTV camera and she can be heard shouting “money” at the top of her voice”.
She calls Dr Jenkins various names, Mr Enoch said, as Edwards could be heard saying: “Stamp his head, stamp his head.”
Dr Jenkins could be heard in the CCTV footage pleading with the trio over and over until he could no longer speak, Mr Enoch said.
Heavy blows could be heard being delivered to Mr Jenkins, before the girls were heard to say “Yeah, I needed that”.
Mr Enoch rebuffed the girl’s claims that she only joined in the attack “half-heartedly” because she was scared of the two older men, saying she was “no wilting flower caught up in something that was not of her making.
WALES NEWS SERVICE)
“The reality is a million miles from that scenario,” he said. “For her to have acted in that way she must be a very troubled young woman.
“She was loud and confident and was laughing during the attack. It was torture, pure and simple.
“When witness Lewis Williams fought back to stop the attack she said: “I’m a girl” as if she was the victim.
“But she is no ordinary 16-year-old and Mr Williams described her as “f*****g evil and sadistic”.
Addressing the jury panel prior to selection, Judge Daniel Williams told them about the case.
He said: “The defendants are charged with the murder of Gary Jenkins who died following an incident which took place on July 20 last year in Bute Park in the center of Cardiff.
“The prosecution’s assault case is defendants were involved in robbing Gary Jenkins of a bag he was carrying and the three subjected him to a very severe from which he was eventually to die 16 days later.
“The prosecution’s case is they assaulted a witness who tried to step in.
“This area of Bute Park is, the prosecution say, known for being an area where gay men have sex. The prosecution say the assault of Gary Jenkins was in some measure homophobic. The allegation of murder is denied.”
Mr Enoch said the teenage girl had met Edwards and Strickland for the first time on July 20, when the trio went to the park with the plan to rob a gay man.
“They knew what went on in the park late at night and the vulnerable nature of the people who frequented that area,” he said.
The group happened across Dr Jenkins, who lived alone in Cardiff after separating from his wife six years earlier.
His wife is following the evidence through a video link to the court.
Dr Jenkins suffered several bleeds to the brain as a result of the attack, as well as a fractured jaw, a broken nose, swelling to the skull and multiple rib fractures.
According to the prosecution, none of the defendants showed a “scintilla” of remorse after the doctor died.
The case, which is expected to last four weeks and is being heard in front of Judge Daniel Williams, continues.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.