UK serial killer Joanne Dennehy jailed for life

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A judge in England yesterday jailed "cruel, calculating, selfish and manipulative serial killer" Joanne Dennehy for life without parole. Dennehy murdered three men known to her and then tried to murder two random strangers.

File photo of the Old Bailey in London, where Joanne Dennehy was sentenced yesterday.
Image: Nevilley.

At the Old Bailey in London, Mr Justice Spencer sentenced Dennehy, 31, previously referred to in court as Joanna, and three accomplices. Gary Stretch, 47, also convicted of the attempted murders, was given a life term and can apply for parole after nineteen years. Leslie Layton, 37, received a fourteen-year term for helping dispose of bodies. Robert Moore, 55, received a three-year sentence for helping Dennehy.

Joanne Dennehy laughed, talked, and smiled during proceedings but stood silent and emotionless with her eyes closed when the sentence was announced. The judge said she had a "sadistic lust for blood".

Dennehy had admitted her crimes; Stretch and Layton went to trial. She killed Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, in Peterborough after leading him to believe they were lovers; he texted a friend "life is beautiful" about the supposed relationship. Within two weeks she had gone on to kill housemate John Chapman, 56, and Kevin Lee, 48. All were stabbed in March last year.

Lee's body was found dumped in a ditch clad in a black sequinned dress. His buttocks were visible. Lee and Dennehy had been having an affair.

She told a psychiatrist "I killed to see how I would feel, to see if I was as cold as I thought I was, then it got moreish." Mr Justice Spencer noted Dennehy held a "strange fascination" to the men in the case. Lee's family said in a statement yesterday "We feel Joanne Dennehy brainwashed Kevin, causing him to make a bad decision, and he has paid for that with his life."

Following the Peterborough murders Dennehy made a 140-mile trip to Hereford where she stabbed dog walkers Robin Bereza and John Rogers with a knife within nine minutes of each other. Both survived.

Mr Justice Spencer identified Dennehy as a psychopath with paraphilia sadomasochism, in which sexual pleasure is gained from the suffering of others. She wrote him a letter saying she had no remorse for the murders. The mother of two joins Myra Hindley and Rose West as the only women to be given whole-life sentences in the UK, in which convicts are told they will never be released.

The sentencing follows a recent ruling by the court of appeal upholding the legality of whole life terms. The four defendants were jailed in Courtroom 2 of the Old Bailey, where on Wednesday Michael Adebolajo also received a whole life term for a terror attack which killed soldier Lee Rigby.


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