Serial killer from Harpenden pleads guilty to triple murders

15:57 20 November 2013

Joanna Dennehy

Joanna Dennehy

Archant

A female serial killer formerly from Harpenden dramatically confessed this week to murdering three men and dumping their bodies in ditches.

Joanna Dennehy, 31, pleaded guilty to the murders of property developer Kevin Lee, 48, Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, and John Chapman, 56 at the Old Bailey on Monday.

Mr Lee’s body was discovered in a ditch in Newborough, Cambridgeshire, on March 30, and her other two alleged victims were found a short distance away at Thorney Dyke.

Dennehy reportedly attended Roundwood Park School, and according to her sister Maria, who spoke to a national newspaper on Monday, she left their £315,000 four-bedroom family home in the St Albans district at 15 and got in with the wrong crowd.

During the hearing the killer, of Bifield, Peterborough, also admitted the attempted murders of two other men, John Rogers and Robin Bereza, and three counts of preventing the lawful burial of all three murder victims.

Her pleas appeared to take her defence barrister Nigel Lickley QC by surprise. He said: “The course is not one I had anticipated. We ask for more time given what has just occurred.”

Dennehy, who sat in the dock of court, said she did not want to talk to anyone and added: “I have pleaded guilty and that’s it.”

Property developer Mr Lee was discovered on the morning of March 30 in a ditch by the A16 at Newborough. A post-mortem examination later showed the 48-year-old died as a result of stab wounds to the chest.

Four days later on April 3 police were called to Fenland field in Thorney, near Peterborough, after a member of the public came across the bodies of Lukasz Slaboszewski and John Chapman.

Mr Slaboszewski had been stabbed in the heart and Mr Chapman was stabbed in the neck and chest.

It is said Mr Slaboszewski was murdered between March 19 and 29, while both Mr Chapman and Mr Lee were allegedly killed on March 29.

The two attempted murders were said to have happened on April 2.

Dennehy’s partner, Gary Stretch, 47, of Riseholme, Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, also appeared in court and denied the two attempted murders and helping her to dump the bodies.

Two other defendants Leslie Layton, 47, of Bifield, Peterborough, and Robert Moore, 55, of Belvoir Way, Peterborough, have previously denied helping to cover up the alleged murders and harbouring Stretch and Dennehy when they were wanted by police.

They are all in custody and a provisional trial date has been set for January 14.

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