Joanne Dennehy ditch murders: Peterborough helpers guilty

Dennehy, Stretch and Layton Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Triple murderer Joanne Dennehy (l) got Gary Stretch (c) and Leslie Layton (r) to help dispose of the bodies

Two accomplices of "sadistic" killer Joanne Dennehy have been convicted of helping her dispose of the bodies during her 12-day spree of violence.

Dennehy, 31, murdered three men in Cambridgeshire and tried to kill two others in Hereford.

Gary Stretch, 47, was found guilty of two attempted murders.

At Cambridge Crown Court, Leslie Layton, 37, was convicted of perverting the course of justice and of preventing lawful burials.

Dennehy will be sentenced on Friday while Stretch and Layton are expected to be sentenced next week, possibly at the Old Bailey in London.

Image copyright Cambs police
Image caption The bodies of (l to r) Lukasz Slaboszewski, Kevin Lee and John Chapman were found in Cambridgeshire

After she murdered three men in the Peterborough area, Stretch drove Dennehy to Hereford where he found two men - Robin Bereza and John Rogers - for her to stab.

Stretch, who is 7ft 3in (2.2m), was convicted of attempted murder over these two attacks.

He was also found guilty of three counts of preventing the lawful burial of a body.

Their convictions on Wednesday came two days after the pair were found guilty of some charges on Monday.

A third man, Robert Moore, of Belvoir Way, Peterborough, has already admitted assisting Dennehy.

Cambridgeshire Police said Moore provided shelter for Dennehy and Stretch while they were on the run, and later lied to officers about their whereabouts. No date has been set for his sentencing.

Chris McCann, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said Stretch and Layton "were willing assistants in these murders" and were "not acting under duress".

"Stretch, Layton and Moore were in the thrall of triple murderer Joanne Dennehy," he said. "They revelled in bringing suffering and misery upon their victims and showed no remorse for their atrocious acts."

Diagnosed as a psychopath by psychiatrists, Dennehy, of Orton Goldhay in Peterborough, admitted murdering Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, Kevin Lee, 48, and John Chapman, 56, in March last year.

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Media captionDarren Cray, the brother in law of Kevin Lee's widow: "Joanne Dennehy has taken over our lives"

Their bodies were all found in ditches in Cambridgeshire in March and April.

Dennehy, a bookish and academic child according to her sister Maria, was likened to "Uma Thurman from Kill Bill" by married father-of-two Mr Lee, with whom she was having an affair, shortly before his death.

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

Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Joanne Dennehy was called a "sadistic serial killer with a fearsome personality" according to one detective

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

Image copyright BBC from Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Robert Moore helped Joanne Dennehy and Gary Stretch evade police

Darren Cray, brother-in-law of Mr Lee's widow Cristina, said on behalf of the family: "This has been an incomprehensibly difficult time for all the family as we try and come to terms with what has happened to Kevin."

He said Mrs Lee felt anger after learning her husband was in a relationship with Dennehy, but was "slowly managing to deal with that".

"Cristina hasn't been able to deal with her own grief. Almost 12 months have passed and she's still not coming to terms with the loss of Kevin. Joanne Dennehy has taken over our lives and has callously created a hole that cannot be filled," he added.

Det Ch Insp Martin Brunning, who led the investigation, described Dennehy as a "sadistic serial killer with a fearsome personality".

"This has been one of the largest and most complex investigations in my 20 years' experience," he said.

Image copyright BBC/Microsoft
  • 1. Dogsthorpe, 19 March - Lukasz Slaboszewski murdered by Dennehy in a house owned by Kevin Lee. On 29 March, Dennehy murdered Kevin Lee in the same property
  • 2. Yaxley, 29 March - Kevin Lee's car found burnt out
  • 3. Bifield, 29 March - John Chapman, a housemate of Dennehy, is murdered
  • 4. Newborough, 30 March - Body of Kevin Lee discovered dumped
  • 5. Thorney Dyke, 3 April - Bodies of Lukasz Slaboszewski and John Chapman found
Image copyright BBC/Microsoft

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