Doctor tortured, robbed and left to die in gruesome ‘homophobic’ attack, court hears

Dr Gary Jenkins

Dr Gary Jenkins was tortured, beaten and “left for dead” by three people after a grisly “homophobic” attack in a Cardiff park, a court heard.

The psychiatrist, 54, was brutally attacked and robbed in Bute Park in Cardiff, Wales, in the early morning hours of 20 July 2021. The father-of-two was left with a severe brain injury, bruising and skull fractures as a result of the attack and died 16 days later.

Lee Strickland, 36, Jason Edwards, 25, and a girl, who was 16 at the time of the attack and cannot be named for legal reasons, are on trial for his murder at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court in South Wales.

They have pleaded guilty to manslaughter, robbery and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. But they have all denied murder.

Dafydd Enoch QC, prosecuting, told a court on Tuesday (25 January) that Dr Jenkins was “viciously beaten, robbed, tortured and left for dead” after he encountered the three defendants.

Enoch declared the defendants – who he described as having the “worst traits of human kind” – were motivated by “greed, homophobia and a straightforward liking of violence”.

As such, he told the court that they had been searching for “vulnerable gay men who were in the park” to rob when they encountered Dr Jenkins, who pleaded for his life.

Enoch told the court that “chilling” audio picked up by nearby CCTV revealed that the girl shouted “money” before all three individuals began laughing as they punched and kicked the psychiatrist.

“He pleads over and over again until he cannot speak no more,” Enoch said. “He then moans and grunts as he’s cruelly beaten and the life is kicked out of him.”

He continued: “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.”

The court also heard that Dr Gary Jenkins, who was openly bisexual, had been previous married and had two daughters, but he divorced his wife and moved back to Cardiff from London around six years ago.

Enoch told the court that Dr Jenkins used to go to Bute Park to look for “sexual contact with like-minded men”.

Dr Gary Jenkins had finished work at around 5pm, went for food and had drinks in the city centre before he went to the park, Sky News reported.

Strickland’s defence team is expected to argue for diminished responsibility as he was intoxicated at the time. Edwards and the unnamed girl will potentially claim that they didn’t mean to seriously harm Dr Jenkins.

The girl told police that she only participated in the attack because she was afraid of the two older men, the court was told. But Enoch dismissed this claim, saying it was an “insult to our intelligence”.

“Not one scintilla of remorse has been shown by these defendants, who left [Dr Gary Jenkins] for dead on his own, in the dark, in the park,” Enoch said.

He continued: “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.”

Dr Gary Jenkins’s family described the beloved doctor as a “loving father” who “lived his life happily with love, music, creativity and dedication to his profession”.

The trial continues.