South West Wales

Angelika Dries-Jenkins murder: Woman 'killed to pay for wedding'

A woman was tortured for her bank details and then beaten to death in her home by a man who needed money to pay for his wedding, a jury has heard.

It is claimed Angelika Dries-Jenkins, 66, from Narberth, Pembrokeshire, was killed by John William Mason in June 2011.

He was due to get married days after the murder and withdrew £1,000 from the victim's bank accounts.

Mr Mason, 55, denies murder and the trial at Swansea Crown Court continues.

Patrick Harrington QC, for the prosecution, told the jury Ms Dries-Jenkins lived next door to Mr Mason's mother.

It is alleged on 1 June last year he caught a bus from his house in nearby Llandissilio to Narberth and then walked to her home where he "conned" his way in.

Mr Mason put on a high-visibility jacket to give himself an air of "status", but would have been familiar to his alleged victim, the jury heard.

"Once inside he beat her savagely, with some blunt instrument, to her head," Mr Harrington said.

"His principal reason for killing this lady was money. After beating her to death he stole her handbag.

"There is no doubt that the torture of his victim was done to make her reveal her Pin."

Abandoned

He tortured her to get her to reveal her Pin before stealing her handbag and her Skoda Fabia car, leaving her dead or dying, the jury was told.

Mr Harrington said the defendant then drove to Whitland and Haverfordwest where he used her bank card to withdraw money.

Image caption A CCTV image of John William Mason after the murder was shown to the jury on Tuesday

He abandoned the car in Haverfordwest with the keys still in the ignition and discarded clothing in a nearby bin.

The jury has been told it will hear evidence that Mr Mason's DNA was on the car keys, the victim's blood was found on the car door and the jumper he threw into a bin in Haverfordwest had both his and the victim's DNA on it.

According to Mr Harrington, Mr Mason was due to get married nine days later and he needed money to pay for the wedding as he and his fiancée Denise Evans were on benefits.

With an income of just £100 a fortnight in benefits, his finances were in a "parlous state", the court heard.

Wedding rings

In the days following the murder the couple were seen out shopping, looking for wedding rings in Haverfordwest.

Mr Harrington added that on the three days following the murder Mason withdrew up to the £250 daily limit of the victim's account each day.

Mr Mason was also seen in betting shops, out drinking and was travelling by taxi, which the prosecution said he would not have been able to afford on benefits.

Ms Dries-Jenkins lay dead in her home for two days before her body was found by her daughter Eleanor on 3 June.

She had travelled to Narberth from her home in Oxfordshire to surprise her mother for her 67th birthday which would have been on 5 June.

"Eleanor made the grim discovery of her mother's body having been bludgeoned to death by John Mason and having been left dying or dead with extensive head injuries," Mr Harrington said.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.