1. ITV Report

Summing up in Dennehy duo' trial

Joanna's Dennehy. Photo:

A judge has told jurors in the trial of killer Joanna's Dennehy's alleged accomplices that if they believe the men feared for their lives, they should be cleared of any wrong doing.

Summing up the case at Cambridge Crown Court, Mr Justice Spencer said the prosecution had sought to prove that Gary Stretch and Leslie Layton were "willing participants" in disposal of Dennehy's victims' bodies and attempts to cover up the crimes.

But he added that the defence had claimed the men were acting under duress, saying: "They say you should not underestimate the evil and malign influence of Dennehy."

The judge added that if jurors believed the men were in fear of death or serious harm they could claim they were acting under duress and should be found not guilty.

"The key test is would a reasonable person placed in the defendants' situation have been driven to act in the way the defendants did," he added.

Neither man has given evidence in their own defence.

Dennehy, 31, of Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, has already admitted the murders of Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, Kevin Lee, 48, and John Chapman, 56, over a ten day period in March last year.

The men's bodies were all found in isolated ditches in Cambridgeshire in March and April.

Dennehy also admitted preventing the lawful and decent burial of all three victims and two charges of attempted murder.

The attempted murder charges relate to her randomly selecting and repeatedly stabbing two men in Hereford in the days after the Cambridgeshire killings.

Stretch, 47, of Riseholme, Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, denies three charges of preventing the lawful burial of three men and two counts of attempted murder.

Layton, 36, of Bifield, Orton Goldhay, denies perverting the course of justice and two counts of preventing the lawful burial of the bodies of Mr Chapman and Mr Lee.

The jury, made up of eight men and four women, is expected to retire to consider their verdict tomorrow.

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