Killer Joanna Dennehy 'Cast Spell' On Victims

Killer Joanna Dennehy 'Cast Spell' On Victims

A woman who pleaded guilty to murdering three men and dumping their bodies in ditches "cast a spell" over her victims, prosecutors have said.

Peter Wright QC told Cambridge Crown Court that Joanna Dennehy's victims "paid for that with their lives".

New details on the events leading up to the killings emerged as the trial of Dennehy's alleged accomplices got under way.

Gary Stretch, 47, and Leslie Layton, 36, are charged with helping Dennehy cover up the "terrible truth" of her 10-day killing spree.

Dennehy, 31, is awaiting sentencing after previously admitting stabbing the three men in the heart and dumping their bodies.

The court was told that, after the killings, Stretch and Dennehy drove to Hereford, where she repeatedly stabbed two men chosen at random. Both men survived the attack.

Describing the alleged involvement of the defendants, Mr Wright said: "Joanna Dennehy may have been the killer but Gary Stretch was able to act as her willing accomplice in disposing of their bodies and was comfortable in her company."

He said Layton was also a willing participant who had tried to distance Dennehy from responsibility for the killings.

The bodies of Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, who was stabbed in the heart, and John Chapman, 56, who died from neck and chest wounds, were found on April 3.

Four days earlier, Kevin Lee, 48, was discovered in a ditch in Newborough, around 10 miles away. He had been stabbed in the chest.

The court heard that Dennehy used text messages to lure Mr Slaboszewski, a heroin addict, to an address in Rolleston Garth, Peterborough on March 19. He was never seen again.

Mr Wright said his body was kept in a bin before it was transported to isolated Thorney Dyke.

He told the court that Dennehy "even showed the body to a teenage girl quite casually as it lay in the wheelie bin".

Mr Chapman, who was under the influence of drink and drugs, was said to have been "at the mercy" of Dennehy who stabbed him to death at his bedsit in Bifield, Orton Goldhay on March 29.

Layton photographed the body on a mobile phone, the court heard.

The prosecution said the third victim, Mr Lee, also killed on March 29, was in love with Dennehy.

It is claimed that Mr Lee, who worked as a property manager, had used her to intimidate residents during disputes.

Gary Stretch, who is 7 feet 3 inches tall, denies three charges of preventing the lawful burial of all three men and two counts of attempted murder.

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

The trial continues.

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