The three people responsible for the fatal homophobic bashing of Welsh psychiatrist Dr Gary Jenkins in Cardiff’s Bute Park last July have been found guilty of murder.
Trigger Warning: This story has details of a brutal, homophobic murder and might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
According to British media outlets, the three accused Lee Strickland, 36, Jason Edwards, 25, and Dionne Timms-Williams, 17, murdered the 54-year-old father of two in the early hours of July 20, 2021.
‘Horrible To Have To Listen To The Details Of What Happened’
The trio pleaded to manslaughter, robbery and assault. They were, however, found guilty of murder by a jury at Merthyr Tyfdil Crown Court on Thursday. The sentencing will take place on March 25.
The Jenkins family released a statement in which they wrote: “Gary was such a kind soul who would never hurt anyone. He was an incredibly generous and creative man who had only good intentions.”
“Gary’s private life being put on display through a crown court trial has only intensified the impact of this event on our family, friends and colleagues. It has been horrible to have to listen to the details of what happened.”
The family described the father-of-two as a “humane, kind” and “compassionate” doctor. They said his “untimely death” had also had an “impact” on his patients.
Killers Motivated By Homophobia And Greed
Three people have been convicted of the murder of Gary Jenkins who died after being assaulted in Bute Park, Cardiff.
CCTV shows the defendants embracing just minutes after the attack on Dr Jenkins.
Full statement ➡️ https://t.co/AVrSSlt49w
— South Wales Police Cardiff (@SWPCardiff) February 3, 2022
The consultant psychiatrist had been married and fathered two girls. He separated from his wife in 2015 and moved back to his home city of Cardiff.
Jurors were played a 15 minute audio clip of the attack, taken from the nearby Summerhouse Café’s CCTV camera.
Prosecutors said the recording revealed the minutes in which Dr Jenkins was “cruelly beaten, robbed, tortured and left for dead.”
Dr Jenkins reportedly pleaded for his attackers to “leave [him] alone” and said “get off me.” He also asked “why” and told them to “please stop it.” The offenders hurled homophobic slurs at him as they bashed him to death.
Passerby, Louis Williams “can be heard attempting to intervene” but the trio then assaulted him.
Concerns About Prosecution’s Stand In Court
Stonewall Cymru’s spokesperson Iestyn Wyn “raised concerns at the way the prosecution presented the case.”
The Guardian reported Prosecutor Enoch had told the jury “the victim’s ‘sexual predilections would be his undoing’ and that he was well liked despite his lifestyle choices or peccadilloes’” because he was possibly cruising in the city centre park.
The Crown Prosecution Service apologised in a statement: “The only people responsible for this horrific crime were those convicted today by the jury. The suggestion that Dr Jenkins was in any way to blame is completely wrong. We apologise for inappropriate and insensitive remarks made during the opening statement.”
Wyn added, “remarks made during the trial have further eroded the trust that our communities have in our justice system…As people across the UK mourn the heartbreaking loss of Dr Jenkins, the government must take urgent action to challenge anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes and ensure all our communities are safe and free.”
According to Wyn, “four in five (81%) of LGBTQ+ people already do not report hate incidents to the police” in Britain.
Stonewall will hold a vigil for Dr Jenkins on Sunday on the steps of the National Museum Wales in Cardiff.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.