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Gary Jenkins: Three people sentenced to life for murdering Cardiff doctor

Dr Gary Jenkins died 16 days after the vicious and homophobic attack in Cardiff in July 2021.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: South Wales Police

The three people found guilty of the murder of Dr. Gary Jenkins in Cardiff last year have been sentenced to life in prison on Friday. (25 March)

Jason Edwards, 26, Lee Strickland, 36, and Dionne Timms-Williams, 17, were all found guilty of murder in February.

The two men have been given a sentence of 32 years and 123 days while the teenager will serve a minimum of 17 years and 125 days.

“You ignored his desperate pleas to stop”

Dr. Jenkins was attacked by the trio in Bute Park in the Welsh capital in July 2021. A post mortem concluded that the cause of death was blunt head injury and bleeding on the brain after he had been “viciously beaten, robbed, tortured”. 

He died in hospital 16 days later.

As reported by ITV, a judge told the trio: “You chose [Gary] as the victim of this homophobic attack. The three of you took an equal part in beating Dr. Gary Jenkins to death.

He continued: “For as long as 28 minutes, you three beat Gary to death. You ignored his desperate pleas to stop. His agonised pleas just prompted homophobic insults. 

“You left him partially clothed as a final indignity.” ITV also reports the Judge said none of them had shown any genuine remorse.

In court, one of Dr. Jenkins’ school friends, Nathan Williams, read a statement describing his friend as a ‘caring sensitive and compassionate person” who “made life interesting, fun and varied”.

He added that Dr. Jenkins’ death would leave a “void in my life”. 

A statement from Dr. Jenkins’ wife said: “As a family we are relieved that justice has been done. We hope to put the pieces of our lives back together again and find some peace”.

South Wales Police’s Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Stuart Wales called the attack “cowardly and senseless in the extreme.”

During the trial, the jury heard how Dr. Jenkins, who identified as bisexual and had been previously married with children, would visit the park “looking for sexual contact with like-minded men”.

It also heard how Strickland, Edwards, and Timms-Williams had gone to the Summerhouse cafe area of Bute Park, where men would often meet for sex. There they had beaten him and left him for dead. 

Following the trial, the Crown Prosecution Service apologised after prosecutors said Dr. Jenkins’ “sexual predilections had been his undoing”. 

Homophobic hate crimes have doubled in the last four years, according to the latest Home Office figures, with more than 17,000 incidents recorded between 2020 and 2021 and around 8,500 in 2016/17. Anti-trans hate crime has also doubled in the same time period.