Pair ‘covered trail’ of female serial killer

Serial killer Joanna Dennehy, who has admitted stabbing three men to death. Picture: PA
Serial killer Joanna Dennehy, who has admitted stabbing three men to death. Picture: PA
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TWO men helped a female serial killer to cover up the “terrible truth” of her murders, a court heard yesterday.

Joanna Dennehy, 31, stabbed three men in the heart and dumped their bodies in ditches before driving across the country and attacking two strangers in a two-week spree of violence.

She admitted killing the men during an earlier hearing.

Yesterday, as the trial of her alleged accomplices Gary Stretch and Leslie Layton began, prosecutor Peter Wright QC said both men “came under the spell of Dennehy”.

The bodies of Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31; Kevin Lee, 48; and John Chapman, 56, were found in ditches in Cambridgeshire in March and April last year.

The prosecutor described how, after the killings, Dennehy and Stretch drove to Hereford where they selected two other men at random. She repeatedly stabbed the men in the street, but both survived.

Mr Wright added that both Mr Slaboszewski and Mr Lee were also under Dennehy’s spell.

“They paid for that with their lives,” he added.

Dennehy met Mr Slaboszewski, a heroin addict, shortly before killing him. She lured him to a house in Rolleston Garth, Peterborough, with a series of text messages on 19 March and he was never seen again, Mr Wright said.

His body was kept in a wheelie bin before being transported to the isolated Thorney Dyke.

Mr Wright told the court: “She even showed the body to a teenage girl quite casually as it lay in the wheelie bin.”

Mr Chapman and Mr Lee were both killed on 29 March.

Mr Chapman, who served in the Falklands War with the navy, lived in a bedsit in the same run-down property as Dennehy in Bifield, Orton Goldhay.

Mr Wright said Mr Chapman, under the influence of drink and drugs, was “at the mercy” of Dennehy as she stabbed him to death in his bedsit.

Afterwards she invited the two defendants to the property and Layton photographed Mr Chapman’s body on his mobile phone, the court heard.

Mr Lee, a property manager who was having an affair with Dennehy, had let the bedsit to Chapman.

Mr Lee was described as being in love with Dennehy and had used her to intimidate residents who would not do as he wished.

But he became her victim and was stabbed multiple times after visiting her at the address where Mr Slaboszewski died.

Mr Wright added that both Dennehy and Stretch then drove across the country seeking further victims on 2 April.

After driving around Hereford, Dennehy selected Robin Bereza and John Rogers.

Mr Wright added: “They were people they had never met who just happened to be on the street at the time. Both men were left for dead.”

Dennehy, of Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, pleaded guilty to the murders at the Old Bailey in November and is in custody awaiting sentencing.

Stretch – real name Gary Richards – 47, of Riseholme, Orton Goldhay, has denied three charges of preventing the lawful burial of all three men and two counts of attempted murder.

Layton, 36, of Bifield, Orton Goldhay, has denied perverting the course of justice and two counts of preventing the lawful burial of the bodies of Mr Chapman and Mr Lee.