November 28, 2022

Two men who killed a father-of-two in a “happy” and homophobic attack have been refused leave to appeal their sentences.

Jason Edwards, 26, and Lee Strickland, 36, were jailed for life along with Dionne Timms-Williams, 18, for murdering Dr Gary Jenkins in a Cardiff park in July 2021.

Edwards and Strickland were ordered to serve minimum terms of 33 years, while Timms-Williams – who was a juvenile at the time – was jailed for at least 17 years.

The Court of Appeal considered claims by Edwards and Strickland that their sentences – handed down by Judge Daniel Williams at Cardiff Crown Court in March – were “manifestly excessive”.

Jason Edwards
Jason Edwards (South Wales Police/PA)

Three judges, sitting in Cardiff on Wednesday, ruled that the sentences were not and refused Edwards and Strickland leave to appeal.

Lord Justice Holroyde, sitting with Ms Justice Foster and Mr Justice Griffiths, described how the three thugs “punched, kicked and punched” Dr Jenkins, 54, during the attack, which lasting up to 30 minutes.

There were a number of aggravating features of the crime, including being committed during a robbery and being homophobic, the judges said.

“There were other aggravating factors identified by the judge – the sustained ferocity of the attack, the crime committed jointly by three people, the manner in which the victim was left deliberately degraded,” Mr Justice Griffiths said.

Edwards and Strickland were under the influence of drink or drugs at the time of the attack, while a man who tried to intervene was also attacked.

The court was told the three defendants went to Bute Park in the early hours of July 20 looking for vulnerable gay men to rob.

Lee Strickland
Lee Strickland (South Wales Police/PA)

Mr Justice Griffiths said this was “partly because they believed such a victim would be less likely to report any crime and partly out of homophobia”.

The sound of the attack startled Dr. Jenkins to plead with the three killers to stop as they beat him.

Quoting Judge Williams, Mr Justice Griffiths described how “his pleas turned to groans as his life dwindled – but the defendants responded with homophobic slurs and escalating violence”.

Edwards, Strickland and Timms-Williams left Dr. Jenkins mortally wounded, taking his cell phone and credit cards.

Referring to Strickland, Mr Justice Griffiths said: “There are a large number of aggravating features. We therefore deny Strickland’s request for leave.”

Both Strickland and Edwards had a long list of previous convictions, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Dionne Timms-Williams
Dionne Timms-Williams (South Wales Police/PA)

Mr Justice Griffiths said Edwards shared “full responsibility for the attack” and a minimum jail term of 33 years was warranted.

“It was a long sentence, but it cannot be said to be manifestly excessive on the facts of this case,” added the judge.

“We do not find Edwards’ appeal from sentence moot and therefore deny Edwards’ motion for leave.”

Dr Jenkins, a consultant psychiatrist, was described by his family as a kind and compassionate man.

His estranged wife said he was “an incredibly generous and creative man with only good intentions”.

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