Former Harpenden resident Joanna Dennehy caged for life for triple murders

Joanna Dennehy

Joanna Dennehy - Credit: Archant

Evil Joanna Dennehy, the serial killer with a sadistic lust for blood, laughed in the dock as she was given a whole life sentence for murdering three men.

The 31-year-old, who left her family’s £315,000 four-bedroom home in St Albans at 16, became one of just three women in Britain who have been told they will die in jail - joining Moors Murderer Myra Hindley and Rose West.

The former Roundwood Park School student butchered three men in cold blood in a 10-day killing spree in Peterborough, Cambs, last Spring and dumped their bodies in fields.

The mother-of-two boasted she murdered Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, lover Kevin Lee, 48, and John Chapman, 56, “to see if I was as cold as I thought I was”.

Unsatisfied, she then drove across the country with hulking 7’ 3” Gary Stretch and attempted to kill two dog walkers at random in Hereford.

Dennehy, flanked by ten guards, muttered and smirked in the dock at the Old Bailey on Friday as Mr Justice Spencer labelled her a “cruel, calculating, selfish and manipulative serial killer”.

He told her: “Within the matter of ten days you murdered three men in cold blood.

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“Although you pleaded guilty you have made it clear you have no remorse for those murders.

“Only a matter of days later you attempted to murder two more victims chosen totally at random. Miraculously they survived.

“You claim to show remorse for those attacks but I have no hesitation in rejecting that.”

Dennehy smiled and nodded as the judge added: “You are a cruel, calculating, selfish and manipulative serial killer.”

He continued: “Your relationship with Kevin Lee became so close that you confided in him about the first murder.

“The only reason to kill him was to gratify your own sadistic love for blood.”

She wore a pink Adidas vest top, grey and pink jogging bottoms and her hair was pulled back over her forehead in a ponytail held together by a pink, sparkling crunchy.

The scars of years of self-mutilation were clear to see on her forearms as she sat in handcuffs.

There was just a blank expression on her face as she was led downstairs and to a life behind bars.

Mr Justice Spencer revealed she had told a psychiatrist that “I killed to see if I was as cold as I thought I was. Then it got more-ish.”

Dennehy, of Peterborough, had admitted the murders and two attempted murders at the Old Bailey in November.

She also admitted preventing the lawful burials of dad-of-two Mr Lee, his Polish-born friend Mr Slaboszewski and Falklands veteran Mr Chapman.

Accomplices Stretch, 48, and Leslie Layton, 37, were also jailed for helping covering up the “terrible truth” of her crimes.

Stretch was ordered to serve a full life term for his part in the murders with a minimum term of 19 years.

Layton was told he would face 14 years in prison, of which he would serve half, for his role in assisting the triple killer.

The pair had been convicted by a jury at Cambridge Crown Court earlier this month.

Third accomplice Robert Moore, 56, of Peterborough, who helped harbour Dennehy and Stretch was sentenced to three years in prison.

Moore had admitted assisting Dennehy at a previous hearing.

Chris McCann, head of the Complex Casework Unit for CPS East of England, said: “We are pleased the families of Joanne Dennehy’s murder victims and the two men she attempted to kill have all seen justice today with the passing of a whole life sentence for her atrocious acts.

“Even though she pleaded guilty to all the charges against her last November and this would normally be taken into account when considering the minimum tariff to be imposed, the judge has made clear that in her case, life must mean life.”