Three guilty of homophobic murder of doctor Gary Jenkins in Cardiff's Bute Park

Article contains descriptions of violence that some readers may find upsetting

Two men and a teenage girl have been found guilty of the homophobic murder of a consultant psychiatrist in a Cardiff park last summer.

Jason Edwards, 25, Lee Strickland, 36, and Dionne Timms-Williams, 17, were found guilty by a jury at Merthyr Crown Court today (February 3).

Dr Gary Jenkins, 54, was fatally attacked by the trio in Bute Park during the early hours of July 20 last year.

The father-of-two suffered multiple severe brain injuries and died at the University Hospital of Wales 16 days later.

'Motivated by greed, homophobia and straight-up violence'

Prosecutors said the killers were "motivated by greed, homophobia and straight-up violence" and that all three of them had been "in search of vulnerable gay men" to rob.

Strickland and Edwards were found guilty alongside Timms-Williams, who they met on the night of the attack. Credit: Athena Picture Agency

During the trial, jurors were played a 15 minute audio clip of the attack, taken from a CCTV camera on the nearby Summerhouse Cafe.

Prosecutors said the recording was of the minutes during which Dr Jenkins was "cruelly beaten, robbed, tortured and left for dead."

A man identified as Dr Jenkins could be heard repeatedly yelling "leave me alone" and "get off me".

A female voice, identified as Timms-Williams, shouts "money" and "now", before homophobic slurs are used by one of the two men, believed to be Edwards.

Dr Jenkins is heard making repeated pleas for his life, asking "why" and "please, stop it".

Timms-Williams could be heard saying "get down", "do it all over again", "do it", "hit him again".

One of the men said: "We're here to rob them."

A passer-by, Louis Williams, can be heard attempting to intervene before the three defendants turn and assault him.

Finally, Timms-Williams is heard saying: "Yeah, I needed that."

All three had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, robbery and assault, but denied murder. But they were found guilty of the charge by a jury.

Police at the scene of the fatal attack in Cardiff's Bute Park, July 2021. Credit: Media Wales

'A kind soul who would never hurt anyone'

Following the verdict, the family of Dr Jenkins released a statement describing him as "a kind soul who would never hurt anyone."

The statement continued: "He was an incredibly generous and creative man who had only good intentions.

"Gary’s private life, being put on display through a Crown Court trial has only intensified the impact of this event on our family, friends and colleagues.

"It has been horrible to have to listen to the details of what happened.

"Gary's untimely death has also had an impact on his patients. Gary was one of the most humane, kind, compassionate doctors one could ever come across.

"He spent most of his working life in the NHS.

"We cannot bring Gary back. There are no winners in this case, only losers but as a family we are relieved that justice is done.

"As a family we would like to thank both the police for their efforts in bringing justice and the 2 main witnesses in this trial, Mr Hill and Mr Williams for their extraordinary bravery and efforts to help Gary.

"They are Good Samaritans and we are eternally grateful to them and will never forget what they did to help.”

The Welsh branch of the LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall have expressed their sadness at Dr Jenkins' murder. Its spokesperson, Iestyn Wyn says more needs to be done to protect LGBTQ+ people.

The jury at Merthyr Crown Court returned their verdict just after lunch. 

Asked by the clerk if they'd reached unanimous verdicts on which they were all agreed, the foreman replied 'yes.' 

Guilty verdicts were then returned in the cases of Jason Edwards, Lee Strickland and Dionne Timms-Williams.  

Judge Daniel Williams ordered Edwards and Strickland to be removed from the dock after they were seen laughing and joking. 

The judge then thanked the jury for their service and adjourned sentencing until March 25th for pre-sentence reports.

He told them the only sentence he could pass in a case of murder was one of life, with only the term of imprisonment to be decided.