Serial killer Joanna Dennehy ordered to serve the rest of her life behind bars
Published 28/02/2014 | 16:16
Psychopathic serial killer Joanna Dennehy was ordered today to serve the rest of her life in prison for murdering three men before randomly selecting and attempting to kill two others.
Mr Justice Spencer told Dennehy she was "a cruel, calculating, selfish and manipulative serial killer" as he sentenced the 31-year-old at the Old Bailey.
Dennehy, who laughed and smirked as the judge delivered his sentencing remarks, 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, of Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, also admitted two counts of attempted murder and preventing the lawful and decent burial of her murder victims.
Three men were also sentenced for helping in her killing spree.
The killer, who had seemed relaxed throughout the hearing, muttered and smirked as sentence was passed.
Addressing Dennehy, who has been diagnosed with various psychopathic disorders, Mr Justice Spencer said: "Within the space of ten days you murdered three men in cold blood.
"Although you pleaded guilty, you've made it quite clear you have no remorse.
"Only a matter of days later you attempted to kill two more men - victims chosen entirely at random.
"Miraculously they survived.
"You claim to feel remorse for those attacks but I have no hesitation in rejecting that.
"You are a cruel, calculating, selfish and manipulative serial killer."
Later the judge added: "The death and destruction you are responsible for has caused untold distress for the families of those killed and of those who survived."
The judge described how Dennehy had 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 more-ish."
Gary Stretch, 47, of Riseholme, Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, thought to be Britain's tallest serving prisoner at 7ft 3ins, was found guilty of the attempted murder of Robin 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.
Throughout the hearing, Stretch looked disinterested and repeatedly look over his shoulder at Dennehy.
He yawned loudly as he was told to stand for sentencing.
The judge ordered him to serve life in prison, with a minimum term of 19 years.
As she was brought into the dock at the start of the day, Dennehy, wearing a pink Adidas vest top which revealed scarring to her arms, seemed to laugh and joke with her accomplices.
At one point the killer, flanked by 10 security guards, interrupted her own mitigation to talk to one of her barristers, repeatedly shaking her head in apparent displeasure.
Mr Lee's wife, Christina, was in court along with their children Chiara, 25, and Dino, 15, and about 20 other family members.
Attempted murder victim Mr Bereza was also in court.
Nigel Lickley QC, representing Dennehy, who the court heard was called Joanne at birth, acknowledged her crimes were "exceptionally serious".
But he added that she had not intended to "embarrass or humiliate" her victims.
"The three men who were killed were not strangers to her," he added.
"They were killed by a limited number of stab wounds.
"In essence the crimes are aggravated by the number of offences and the attempted murders."
The trial of her accomplices, Stretch and Leslie Layton, at Cambridge Crown Court earlier this year, heard that Dennehy had "cast a spell" over some of her victims.
Dennehy had met Mr Slaboszewski just days before his killing at a property in Peterborough on or soon after March 19.
He had told friends he had met an "English girlfriend" and it is thought he went to meet Dennehy expecting sex.
She stabbed him in the heart, the killer stored his body in a wheelie bin - at one point smirking as she showed the corpse to a teenage girl.
On March 29, she stabbed Mr Chapman at the block of bedsits they shared in Bifield, near Peterborough.
The court heard Mr Chapman, a Falklands War veteran, had been scared of Dennehy and described her to friends as the "man-woman" because of her intimidating nature.
Afterwards Dennehy contacted Stretch and told him: "Oops, I've done it again."
She then arranged to meet Mr Lee - her landlord with whom she was having an affair - before stabbing him to death.
Dennehy was likened to "Uma Thurman from Kill Bill and the woman from the Terminator" by married father-of-two Mr Lee shortly before the frenzied killing.
With the help of Stretch and Layton, she then transported the bodies in a car registered in the false company name Undertakers and Sons.
Mr Lee's body - wearing a black sequin dress and arranged in a sexual pose in a "final act of humiliation" - was discovered in a ditch near Newborough on March 30.
On April 3, the bodies of Mr Slaboszewski and Mr Chapman were found in a ditch at Thorney Dyke.
As police launched a triple murder investigation and appealed for information about their whereabouts, Dennehy and Stretch travelled to Hereford after she told him "I want to have my fun".
While on the run, Dennehy had bragged that the pair were "like Bonnie and Clyde", prosecutor Peter Wright QC said.
Once in Hereford, the two of them randomly selected two dog walkers - Mr Bereza and John Rogers.
She leapt from the car and repeatedly stabbed each of them while Stretch watched and waited.
Both men suffered severe injuries but survived the attacks.
Layton, 36, of Bifield, Orton Goldhay, was found guilty of preventing the lawful burial of two murder victims and perverting the course of justice.
His barrister, Christopher Morgan, said that although the jury had rejected his claim he was acting under duress, it did not mean he had not been frightened of Dennehy.
Mr Justice Spencer said he had played a "subordinate role" to Dennehy and Stretch.
The judge 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.
Moore was sentenced to three years, after the court heard it had taken "courage" for him to admit his role in providing accommodation to the killer for two nights.