Serial killer Joanna Dennehy will spend rest of her life in prison
16:00 28 February 2014
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 10 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 trial of her accomplices, Gary Stretch and Leslie Layton, at Cambridge Crown Court earlier this year, heard that Dennehy had “cast a spell” over some of her victims.
Stretch, 47, of Riseholme, Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, thought to be Britain’s tallest serving prisoner at 7ft 3in, 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 looked 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.
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.