Smirking serial killer handed whole life term

Joanna Dennehy
Joanna Dennehy
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A JUDGE said smirking serial killer Joanna Dennehy found murder “moreish” as he ordered her to spend the rest of her life in prison for her spree of violence.

The 31-year-old killer smiled, laughed and looked uninterested throughout most of her sentencing hearing at London’s Old Bailey.

Mr Justice Spencer – who described her as “a cruel, calculating, selfish and manipulative serial killer” – said her three murders were so serious that they warranted a whole life tariff.

The judge revealed that Dennehy sent him a letter saying she was not sorry for the murders.

He added that 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.”

As she was led from the dock, she remained passive and composed.

Dennehy, of Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the murders of Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, Kevin Lee, 48, and John Chapman, 56, in and around Peterborough over a 10-day period last March.

Police launched a nationwide hunt to find her after the bodies were discovered in remote ditches in Cambridgeshire but she went on to drive 140 miles to Hereford where she repeatedly stabbed two dog walkers. Dennehy also admitted two counts of attempted murder and preventing the lawful and decent burial of her murder victims.

Nigel Lickley QC, representing Dennehy, said she had not intended to “embarrass or humiliate” her victims.

Mr Lee’s wife Christina was in court along with their children Chiara, 25, and Dino, 15, and about 20 other family members in a show of solidarity.

Afterwards they said in a statement: “We feel Joanne Dennehy brainwashed Kevin, causing him to make a bad decision, and he has paid for that with his life.”

Retired firefighter Robin Bereza, who also attended the hearing, was one of the men who survived the Hereford attacks. He described Dennehy as “evil” and said the ordeal had a lasting impact on him,

Gary Stretch, 47, of Riseholme, Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, was found guilty of the attempted murder of Mr Bereza and John Rogers after helping Dennehy select her victims in Hereford.

He was also convicted of three counts of preventing the lawful burial of a body, at the trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

Representing him, Karim Khalil QC said: “There is no proper evidence that, in spite of knowing what she had done, he derived any pleasure from it.”

But the judge said he had knowingly played his part in the misery caused by Dennehy and ordered him to serve life in prison, with a minimum term of 19 years.

Leslie Layton, 36, of Bifield, Orton Goldhay, was found guilty of preventing the lawful burial of two murder victims and perverting the course of justice. Mr Justice Spencer said he had played a “subordinate role” to Dennehy and Stretch and ordered that he serve a total of 14 years in prison.

A third man, Robert Moore, 56, of Belvoir Way, Peterborough, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender and was sentenced to three years.