Man used body to protect psychiatrist attacked fatally in park, court told

·3-min read
Dr Gary Jenkins who died after being attacked in But Park, Cardiff, in July 2021. (South Wales Police/family handout) (PA Media)
Dr Gary Jenkins who died after being attacked in But Park, Cardiff, in July 2021. (South Wales Police/family handout) (PA Media)

A man who witnessed a father-of-two being attacked in a Cardiff park tried to put himself between the victim and his assailants, a court has heard.

Louis Williams described laying over Dr Gary Jenkins for between five to 10 minutes while two men and a teenage girl punched and kicked him.

The consultant psychiatrist died just over two weeks after the assault happened in the early hours of July 20 2021.

Jason Edwards, 25, Lee Strickland, 36, and a 17-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are being tried for his murder at Merthyr Crown Court in South Wales.

In a recorded police interview played to the jury, Mr Williams said that night he had gone towards an area of the park by the Summerhouse Cafe, near the Millennium Bridge, where he heard an altercation taking place.

He said: “As I walked towards them down the path I could see a male on the floor and two males kicking him and shouting.

“And a girl also shouting and kicking.

Gary Jenkins. (PA Media)
Gary Jenkins. (PA Media)

“I got closer and I started shouting ‘stop!’ straight away and tried to move them away from him.

“They were pulling his bag.

“His trousers were near to down, I think because they had been pulling his clothes.

“They weren’t stopping so I crouched over him and shouted stop! Stop!”

Mr Williams said the three of them did not stop and he tried to use his own body as a barrier between the attackers and the prone man and suffered some blows to his own head.

“I wanted to fight but I was scared, really.

“So I just though if I can stop them kicking him, because they were kicking him to his body,” he added.

“They were kicking his body and kicking towards his head.”

“They were just shouting and laughing and swearing,” he said.

“Their tone was bullying, like they were having fun, like they were right to do it, like they think it’s funny and it’s just enjoyment for them.”

Mr Williams, who said he had also been in the park for sex, asked the defendants why they were attacking the man and whether it was because “We are gay?” or because this is a “gay area?”.

He said the girl said something about “her friend being a lesbian”.

During cross-examination by Caroline Rees QC, who is representing the female defendant, she said: “What I’m going to suggest to you is that the girl said she was a lesbian and had just broken up with her girlfriend. Is that possible?”

Mr Williams replied: “Possibly. Maybe. I don’t know.”

Statements from South Wales Police officers were then read to the court and detailed the pursuit of Edwards and Strickland after the incident.

Edwards was chased by a Pc Demi Edwards during which he is believed to have thrown Dr Jenkins’ phone into the back garden of a home in Canton, an inner-city neighbourhood.

Strickland was eventually stopped by plain clothes police officers who searched him and found what they did not know at the time to be Dr Jenkins’ bank card.

Pc Phil Coleman said he had noticed blood on the right side of Strickland’s grey tracksuit bottoms and cuts on the defendant’s hands.

Strickland claimed the blood was his own, and the cuts were from his work as a builder.

The trial will continue on Friday.

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