Joanna Dennehy: Two men found guilty

Joanna Dennehy. Picture: PA
Joanna Dennehy. Picture: PA
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Two men were yesterday found guilty of helping serial killer Joanna Dennehy.

Gary “Stretch” Richards was convicted of three counts of preventing the lawful burial of a body and one of attempted murder at Cambridge Crown Court.

Leslie Layton was found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Dennehy, 31, of Peterborough, has already admitted the murders of three people – Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, Kevin Lee, 48, and John Chapman, 56, in and around Peterborough.

All of them were killed over a ten-day period in March.

She also admitted preventing the lawful and decent burial of all three victims and two charges of attempted murder.

Richards’ attempted murder conviction relates to Dennehy’s attack on John Rogers in Hereford on 2 April.

The jury will continue to consider its verdict in relation to his involvement in the attempted murder of Robin Bereza in Hereford on the same day.

Layton is accused of preventing the lawful burial of the bodies of Mr Chapman and Mr Lee but the jury is yet to reach a verdict on those counts.

The convictions follow 31-year-old Dennehy’s killing spree in March last year.

Afterwards she drove to Hereford with Richards in a Vauxhall Astra registered in the false company name Undertaker and Sons.

Once there the diagnosed psychopath randomly selected and repeatedly stabbed two dog walkers – Mr Bereza and Mr Rogers – in the street.

Both survived despite suffering serious injuries.

During the trial, prosecutors said Dennehy “cast a spell” over her alleged accomplices and some of her victims as she killed “for fun”.

Dennehy was likened to “Uma Thurman from Kill Bill and the woman from the Terminator” by married father-of-two Mr Lee shortly before his death.

Another victim, John Chapman, had dubbed her the “man-woman” because of her intimidating nature.

At the height of a nationwide manhunt, she bragged to one witness that she had killed eight people – although no further murders have been detected.

All of the murder victims died from multiple stab injuries, including wounds to the heart.

After his death the body of Mr Slaboszewski was stored in a wheelie bin. At one point a smirking Dennehy showed the body to a teenage girl, prosecutor Peter Wright QC told the court.

Along with John Chapman, who was killed in the block of bedsits he shared with Dennehy in Bifield on 29 March, Mr Slaboszewski’s body was later dumped in a ditch.

Mr Lee was also killed on March 29 in the same house as Mr Slaboszewski.

His body was found wearing a black sequin dress and positioned in a sexual pose in a separate ditch near Newborough, in what Mr Wright described as a “final act of humiliation”. After the Peterborough killings, Dennehy had bragged that she and Richards were “like Bonnie and Clyde” as they drove 140 miles across the country to search out further victims.

Describing the involvement of the two defendants, Mr Wright said both had been “willing and able” participants in the plot.

Neither man gave evidence in the trial, but both claimed they had been acting under duress.

A third man, Robert Moore, 55, of Peterborough, is awaiting sentence after admitting assisting an offender.