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Gary Jenkins murder trial: Teen girl among trio who laughed as they attacked and tortured father-of-two in Cardiff park, court told

A teenager and two men laughed as they “viciously attacked and tortured” a father-of-two in Cardiff last summer, a court has heard.

Dr Gary Jenkins, 54, suffered multiple brain injures when he was assaulted in Bute Park, Cardiff, in the early hours of 20 July 2021.

He died at the University of Wales hospital on 5 August.

Jason Edwards, 25, Lee Strickland, 36, and a 17-year-old girl who cannot be named for legal reasons are on trial for his murder at Merthyr Crown Court in South Wales.

Dafydd Enoch, prosecuting, said the attack was motivated by “greed, homophobia and straight-up violence”.

He told the court that the trio had been “in search of vulnerable gay men who were in the park for sex” to rob when they set upon Dr Jenkins, who pleaded for his life.

The teenager was 16 at the time and Lewis Williams, a witness who tried to intervene, described her as “evil” and “sadistic”, the court was told.

Mr Enoch said audio from nearby CCTV picks up the girl shouting “money” before all three defendants laugh as they punch and kick the consultant psychiatrist.

“He pleads over and over again until he cannot speak no more,” Mr Enoch said.

“He then moans and grunts as he’s cruelly beaten and the life is kicked out of him.”

“Edwards says, ‘Stamp on his head, stamp on his head’. There’s homophobic abuse. [The youth] at the end is heard saying, ‘Yes, I needed that’. These defendants were indulging in sport.”

Defendants admit manslaughter

Mr Enoch said the girl was filmed on CCTV cameras meeting her co-defendants and after buying alcohol at the nearby Esso garage on Cathedral Road, they entered the park via the Castle Road entrance and sat by the Summerhouse Cafe.

Owen Hill, who is expected to give evidence during the trial, described being lured by the three around the back of the cafe with the suggestion of a sexual encounter with Strickland.

However, sensing something was wrong, he left.

The court was told Dr Jenkins, who was bisexual and became estranged from his wife, moved back to Cardiff from London around six years ago. He was open about his sexuality and regularly went to the park at night “looking for sexual contact with other men”.

Dr Jenkins finished work at around 5pm, went for food in Canton, a city neighbourhood, and then drinks in the city centre before going to the park, Mr Enoch said

The jury was shown images of a bloodied and bruised Dr Jenkins, taken while he lay in intensive care after the assault.

All three defendants have accepted being present during the attack and pleaded guilty to the manslaughter and robbery of Dr Jenkins and the assault of Mr Williams.

‘Insult to our intelligence’

Strickland’s defence team is expected to argue for diminished responsibility due to him being intoxicated at the time, while Edwards and the girl are to claim they didn’t mean to seriously harm Dr Jenkins, the court was told.

The girl told police officers that she participated in the attack out of fear of the two men, a claim Mr Enoch called “an insult to our intelligence”.

“Not one scintilla of remorse has been shown by these defendants, who left (Dr Jenkins) for dead on his own, in the dark, in the park,” Mr Enoch added.

“As they punched and kicked the pleading and begging Dr Jenkins over a period of 13 minutes or more, shouting at him and humiliating him, we don’t think they intended to give him a black eye or bruise. There can only be one sensible conclusion, we say.”

The trial continues.

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