Dionne Timms-Williams in police interview said she had met the two men she committed murder with for the first time on the same night of the brutal killing. Edwards introduced himself as ‘Scouse’ and gave her two cans of cider. She said: ‘I did not think Dr Gary Jenkins would be seriously injured.
‘I was too scared to call for help for him. I think they will hunt me down and hurt me or my family. I feared I would be attacked immediately if I tried to get away.’ The 16 year old from a small Welsh village who was a keen horse rider and had been described by neighbours as “perfectly normal before lockdown” has been convicted of killing of Dr Gary Jenkins in Bute park last year.
The CCTV and audio from the murder scene contradicted her interview statement.
Dr Gary Jenkins can be seen enjoying a meal at the Calabrisella restaurant in Cowbridge Road East at 4.55pm on July 19 where he uses a Santander bank card to pay. He is later seen on CCTV in Sophia Close near Bute Park at 8.57pm.
Dr Jenkins had visited Bute Park that night ‘looking for sexual contact with other men’, and the three defendants were looking to rob ‘vulnerable gay men who were in the park for sex’, Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court was previously told.
The respected psychiatrist was seen on CCTV footage around the area walking through the area before Timms-Williams, Edwards and Strickland all met for the first time on nearby park benches.
On the 19th July Dionne had made her way to town and met her co defendants in Queen Street and accepted a can of cider, Timms-Williams walked with Strickland and Edwards 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 café.
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.’ Timms-Williams claimed in court that she took part in the attack alongside strangers Jason Edwards, 25, and Lee Strickland, 36, because she was ‘scared for her life’ if she did not join in. But she went out ‘to target somebody for robbery and violence’ in the early hours of the morning on July 20 last year, the court heard.
Witness Louis Williams could be heard throughout the disturbing audio recording, 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.
The barrister takes the witness to his part of the police statement where he talked about the males “taking the lead” in the attack on the man on the ground. The witness agrees he said that and meant the men had greater “physicality” but that all three were involved in the assault
The barrister now ask the witness about the part of his statement where he said the female attacker used the word ‘lesbian’. He says he had asked the attackers whey they were doing it and whether it was because “we are gay” and the part of the park was a “gay area”. He says the female “said something about her friend being a lesbian”.
Ms Rees asks: “What I am going to suggest to you is that the girl said she was a lesbian and had just broken up with her girlfriend. Is that possible?” Mr Williams says: “Possibly, yes. Maybe.” The barrister says she has no more questions for the witness. She was recorded before the attack saying: ‘If we’re going to stay in f***** Bute Park, can we at least go and steal?’
The court heard the teenage killer went to stay at a friend’s house after leaving Dr Jenkins unconscious near the Summerhouse Cafe. She stayed up ‘chatting about general stuff’ before going to bed and returning to her village home the following day.
At 1.29am Edwards and Timms-Williams are seen leaving Bute Park to the east and they exit onto North Road. They embrace before going their separate ways after Timms-Williams passes Edwards a phone belonging to Dr Jenkins. At 1.45am Edwards returns to the benches in Queen Street where he partakes in a celebratory hug with Strickland and is seen with a broad smile on his face.
The two murderers are then seen riding around Cardiff city centre on one bicycle, with Edwards pedalling, until they are spotted by police just outside Bute Park at 2.10am. Edwards makes off but Strickland is stopped by police and arrested. At 2.15am he is searched and police discover the red Santander card belonging to Dr Jenkins but they are unaware of the attack victim’s identity at this stage.
PC Phillip Coleman who is giving evidence describes how he saw a cut on Lee Strickland’s hand and when he asked him about it the suspect said he was a builder and had cut himself and that the blood on his trousers was his own. He says the suspect then told him he had spent the day doing what he usually does – begging on the streets – and has gone to the park that night “for a p***”. The officer says the suspect was slurring his words and it was difficult to understand everything he was saying. The officer says after about 30 mins Strickland was de-arrested and allowed on his way.
Witness Owain Hill is still giving evidence about his encounter with a group of three people in Bute Park shortly before the alleged murder. He said he was 6ft 3in and wearing a Cuban heel boot with a metal block on it. He described himself as “sober enough”. He said: “I wasn’t walking all over the place and could tell what was happening.”
Witness Owain Hill explains how the encounter with the group he met in Bute Park in the early hours of July 20 last year developed. He said: “They just wanted me to hang out with them and have a drink and some fun. They suggested going behind the Summerhouse Cafe and I kind of went along with it to see what would happen…
“The one guy, I felt like he was pushing his friend on to me, I wasn’t sure if something was going to happen sexually in that way. He was both physically pushing him towards me and saying I should have fun with his friend. He said to have sex with his friend…. “I believe it was the girl [who walked behind the cafe first, I believe she led and the guy sat down got up and walked with her and the guy originally standing followed so I followed as well.” Mr Enoch said: “Did the girl say anything to you?” Mr Hill said: “She asked if I was gay… I told her I was….
“There’s a wooden seating area we sat on behind the Summerhouse Cafe and they just asked me about being gay. The one who was originally sat down he started lighting a cigaretts of cannabis I think.“In that moment I started getting uncomfortable and made an excuse to leave… I believe I said I had work in the morning so had to go… I just felt they were really intoxicated and by that point I had sobered up and didn’t want to be around that.
“I thought they were pressuring me to drink with them and they were going to pressure me into smoking with them which I didn’t want to do, I wanted to leave really.” The court heard the witness joined a group of men engaging in sex in the park. He said: “[I was there) for five, 10 minutes.” Mr Hill then walked back towards the Summerhouse Cafe where he again saw the group.
He said: “The girl was sitting as well as the guy who was originally sitting and the guy who was standing was still standing.” Mr Enoch said: “What happened when you approached them?” Mr Hill said: “The girl offered me a drink, which I refused. They all just started talking to me.” Mr Enoch said: Did the men say anything to you?”
Mr Hill said: “They were encouraging me to stay with them, to have a drink and have fun… The one originally standing was the most intoxicated. He couldn’t stand straight and kept fidgeting and moving around. “The other guy seemed fine, he was talking mostly and the girl seemed quite fine as well. They seemed both soberish.” After he left the group the witness said he went to look for somebody else to have an encounter with before deciding to leave the park and head home. But as he left the park he heard the attack on Dr Jenkins.
He said: “At first I heard what sounded like shouting which made me stop and turn around. I tried to listen to what it was and decided to walk back towards the noise and heard punching and thumping from that. “I heard the victim screaming for help and ‘Why are you doing this to me?’ basically pleading…
“It sounded like men’s voices shouting. It was definitely aggressive…. Somebody told me someone was being beaten up and I shouldn’t go down there
“I carried on because I was feeling guilty and was going to break it up but as I got nearer the sound of the violence got louder I got scared and turned around.”
Mr Hill called the police as he left the park.
Asked about the events of the day of July 19 (the day before the assault in Bute Park) Edwards says he spent the day in Cardiff drinking alcohol – Stella, Jack Daniels, and vodka. He says he only drinks alcohol “once in a blue moon”. Edwards says he can’t where in town he went, or what times.
Edwards says he met his girlfriend in town but refuses to name her. When asked how long he has been in a relationship with his girlfriend he answers: “Too long.” The officer asks the defendant how he feels after drinking alcohol, and the defendant says “happy”. He adds: “I wouldn’t say I was sober but I wasn’t steaming.” In response to questions from officers the defendants says he takes cannabis to make him “calmer”, and that he takes it because he is no longer given Rital for his ADHD. Officer: “How much do you smoke?”
Officer: “How much does it cost you?”
Edwards: “No comment.”
Asked if he takes anything else, the defendant says “crack” but answers “no comment” when asked how much he spends on the drug. Asked what crack does for him, Edwards replies: “Same as weed.” The defendant adds: “It is not an addictive drug, mate. It’s not like heroin – you can take it or leave it.”
Edwards says he hadn’t taken cannabis or crack on the day in question, and had only drunk alcohol – he puts his level of intoxication as seven out of 10. Jurors watched key moments of the evening’s horrifying attack during the trial, including a bodycam clip of Strickland’s arrest.
The court heard Dr Jenkins suffered an ‘unsurvivable brain injury’ after he was ‘beaten, tortured and left for dead’ and sadly died at the University Hospital of Wales two weeks later on August 5. When opening his case for the prosecution, Mr Enoch said Dr Jenkins ‘sexual proclivities were to be his undoing’.
He added: ‘By engaging in that activity he rendered himself hopelessly vulnerable and was an easy target as he wandered about Bute Park. By its nature the activity he engaged in was risky.’
The Crown Prosecution Service later issued an apology for what it described as ‘insensitive remarks’.
The barrister tells the jurors about a pair of trainers seized from Jason Edwards’ flat in Litchfield Court – a DNA sample from a blood stain found on the tongue of the left shoe was matched to Dr Jenkins. Blood was also found on the heel of the same shoe, which contained DNA from two sources one of which was Dr Jenkins. Mr Ryan says the forensic findings are consistent with Edwards having stamped on or kicked Dr Jenkins, or having been in “close proximity” when Dr Jenkins was attacked.
The barrister tells the jurors about DNA samples recovered from items found near the scene, including from a can of Strongbow Dark Fruits. He says analysis shows the samples are a billion times more likely to come from the defendants than from other unrelated individuals.
The barrister says that blood was found on the inside surface of a pocket of Dr Jenkins’ jeans, and DNA tests showed it was a billions times more likely to come from defendant Lee Strickland than from an unrelated individual. He says Strickland’s DNA was also recovered from Dr Jenkins’ underpants.
The barrister summarises the injuries sustained by Dr Jenkins, including multiple wounds around both eyes and over the head; a wound on the abdomen; severe traumatic brain injuries, fractures to cheek bones, fractures to ribs on both sides; a fracture to the body of the sternum. The cause of Dr Jenkins’ is given as blunt head injury.
After the verdict was reached, Gary’s family issued a statement, describing him as a ‘kind soul who would never hurt anyone’.
They added: ‘Gary was such a kind soul who would never hurt anyone. He was an incredibly generous and creative man who had only good intentions.
‘Gary’s private life, being put on display through a Crown Court trial has only intensified the impact of this event on our family, friends and colleagues.
‘It has been horrible to have to listen to the details of what happened.
‘Gary’s untimely death has also had an impact on his patients. Gary was one of the most humane, kind, compassionate doctors one could ever come across.
‘He spent most of his working life in the NHS.
The statement from Dr Paul Cantrell, the line manager of Dr Gary Jenkins, is still being read to the court. It continues: “My understanding is Gary was estranged from his wife, a medical psychotherapist. I understand they met at medical school and have two daughters who are teenagers.
“He was in regular contact with his children and a devoted father to his girls and he would go to London to see them. I understand his wife and children remained in London where he lived his marital and professional life but moved back to Cardiff six years ago. Part of this estrangement may have been due to his bisexuality.
“He felt a duty to his father who developed dementia and recently passed away. Gary asked for some compassionate leave. He has an older brother.”
The witness added: “Gary was great fun when he was out – he was always the first to arrive at a party.
“I was aware from colleagues he frequented Bute Park after hours. The impression conveyed to me by colleagues was well-known that he had occasion to attend the park late at night and knew him well enough to know it was to find a male partner. We were worried about these practises and were thinking of warning him.
“He would go out and drink copious amounts of alcohol but he appeared to me a fit and healthy person, walked a lot, and was proud of his appearance.
“He had no financial difficulties and was renegotiating his contract with me. He was looking to drop working hours by half.”
That’s the end of Dr Cantrell’s evidence.
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.
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.
Thomas Edwards, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the CPS said: ‘The level of violence from all three defendants was truly shocking, with the evidence showing that they appeared to enjoy the cruelty of what they were doing.
‘Throughout the court process our thoughts have remained with the family and friends of Dr Jenkins, who is so clearly missed.’
The trio will be sentenced at Newport Crown Court on March 25.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Stuart Wales said: ‘Dr Gary Jenkins was a much-loved father, husband, brother and friend.
‘Professionally, he had a successful medical career as a Consultant Psychiatrist and was highly-respected for the expert care and support he provided to his many patients.
‘The attack upon Dr Jenkins by the three defendants was cowardly and senseless in the extreme.
Addressing the jury, Judge Williams said: “Any available sentence for someone convicted of murder is life imprisonment. The court must set a minimum period of imprisonment before a defendant becomes eligible for the parole board to consider release.”
He said in Edwards and Strickland’s case, the likely minimum period would be 30 years and in Timms-Williams’ case 12 years.