December 10 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, September 8, 2013
A WOMAN charged with stabbing to death three men whose bodies were found in ditches in isolated spots across Cambridgeshire and the Fens has appeared in court.
Joanna Dennehy, 31, of Bifield, in Peterborough is accused of three counts of murder after the bodies of Kevin Lee, 48, Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, and John Chapman, 56, were discovered in the county earlier this year.
Mr Lee, who was found in a ditch in Newborough on March 30 and Mr Chapman, found at Thorney Dyke on April 3 are both said to have been killed on March 29.
Mr Slaboszewski, also found at Thorney Dyke on April 3, is said to have been killed 10 days earlier.
Dennehy and three other defendants – all from Peterborough –appeared at the Old Bailey court in London via a video link.
She also faces two counts of attempted murder alongside Gary Stretch, 47, of Riseholme, Orton Goldhay.
The pair, who did not enter pleas, is also accused of preventing the lawful and decent burial of the three dead bodies.
Leslie Layton, 37, of Bifield, Orton Goldhay, pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice and preventing the lawful and decent burial of Mr Lee and Mr Chapman.
Robert Moore, 55, of Belvoir Way, Dogsthorpe, entered not guilty pleas over two counts of assisting an offender.
Mr Justice Sweeney, the judge presiding over yesterday’s hearing, set a provisional trial date for January 14 next year at the crown court in Cambridge.
The defendants are due to appear again at the Old Bailey for a plea and case management hearing on November 18.
After the bodies were discovered last year, police launched an appeal for information.
In an investigation led by DI Martin Brunning, of Cambridgeshire police, officers released photographs of each of those who had died and encouraged members of the public to look at them and try to remember whether they had been seen in the local area.
The families of the men who died later paid tribute to their loved ones.
A statement released by the family of Mr Chapman said: “We are all so upset and shocked by the tragic loss of John.
“He was a loving brother, brother-in-law and uncle.
“He was much loved by all who knew him and will be missed by all his friends and family.”
Mr Slaboszewski’s sister Magda Skrzypczak described her brother’s sense of humour, saying: “Lukasz was the joker in the family, always finding something to laugh about.
“His mum and dad are devastated by their loss and he also leaves two grieving sisters.”