Two men refused permission to appeal over homophobic murder of Dr Gary Jenkins

Two men who murdered a father-of-two in a “ferocious” and homophobic attack have been refused permission to appeal their sentences.

Jason Edwards, 26, and Lee Strickland, 36, were jailed for life along with Dionne Timms-Williams, 18, for killing 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 youth at the time – was detained for at least 17 years.

The Court of Appeal considered applications 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 the sentences were not and denied Edwards and Strickland leave to bring their appeals.

Lord Justice Holroyde, sitting with Mrs Justice Foster and Mr Justice Griffiths, described how the three murderers “punched, kicked and stamped” on 54-year-old Dr Jenkins during the attack, which lasted up to 30 minutes.

There were a number of aggravating features to the murder, including that it was committed during a robbery and homophobic, the judges said.

“There were other aggravating factors identified by the judge – the sustained ferocity of the attack, the murder being committed jointly by three people, the deliberately degrading way the victim was left,” 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 thought such a victim would be less likely to report any crime and partly out of homophobia”.

Audio of the attack captured Dr Jenkins pleading with the three killers to stop as they battered him.

Quoting Judge Williams, Mr Justice Griffiths described how “his pleas turned to groans as his life ebbed away – but the defendants responded to this with homophobic insults and increasing violence”.

Edwards, Strickland and Timms-Williams left Dr Jenkins fatally injured, taking his mobile phone and credit cards.

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

Both Strickland and Edwards had a lengthy 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 the minimum term of 33 years in prison was justified.

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

“We don’t consider Edwards’ appeal against sentence to be arguable and we therefore dismiss Edwards’ application for leave.”

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

His wife, who he was separated from, said he was “an incredibly generous and creative man with only good intentions”.