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Dr Gary Jenkins: Wife’s tribute to murdered psychiatrist

THE wife of a consultant psychiatrist killed in a homophobic attack in Cardiff has spoken of his “kind soul” and dedication to helping others, while revealing their family’s horror at learning of his “tortured” death.

Dr Gary Jenkins, a father-of-two, was beaten to death by three people in Bute Park in the early hours of July 20 2021 in what has been called a “grotesque display of savage violence”.

Jason Edwards, 26, Lee Strickland, 36, and Dionne Timms-Williams, 17, were sentenced on Friday at Cardiff Crown Court to life in prison for his murder.

In an emotional statement, read to the court on her behalf, the 54-year-old’s wife paid tribute to him and to those who had tried to save him during the assault.

She said: “As a family we were devastated to learn about what happened to Gary as he was such a kind soul who would never hurt anyone.

“The reality of his tortured death has hit us hard and we are all finding it incredibly difficult to find some sense of normality since his untimely death.

“Gary was smart and funny and the heart and soul of every party. He was an incredibly generous and creative man who had only good intentions.

“After seeing Gary in hospital unconscious and unrecognisable, we’ve all had to face up to the nightmare of what happened.

“In particular, Gary’s daughters’ lives have been massively affected as they have lost their beloved father.

“They are struggling in areas of their lives where they were thriving before this attack, such as their education and emotional state – and all of us have had recurrent nightmares and daytime flashbacks directly linked to his attack and death.

“The loss of many more years and the happy times that Gary could have had with his daughters has been very painful and distressing to bear.”

“Gary’s private life being put on display through a crown court trial has only intensified the impact of this event on our family, friends and colleagues,” she added.

“It has been horrible to have to listen to the details of what happened.”

She told of how Dr Jenkins dedicated his life to helping others having worked as part of the NHS, and said he was “one of the most humane, kind, compassionate doctors one could ever come across”.

“We cannot bring Gary back. There are no winners in this case, only losers. But as a family we are relieved that justice is done and that through this process, we can hope to rediscover our trust in humanity,” she said.

“As a family, we would like to thank both the police for their efforts in bringing justice and the two main witnesses in this trial, Mr Hill and Mr Williams for their extraordinary bravery and efforts to help Gary. They are good Samaritans, we are eternally grateful to them and will never forget what they did to help.”

Friend Nathan Williams told the court Dr Jenkins’ death would leave “a void” in his own life and the lives of everyone he knew.

He said: “Gary was a caring, sensitive and compassionate person whose kindness, generosity and energy brightened people’s lives. A veritable whirlwind, he made life interesting, fun and varied, rarely have I met someone with such enthusiasm and impulsivity.

“A very good cook and a talented musician, who could light up the room with his piano playing, he was central to any gathering. But all of that is now gone, such occasions will never be the same again.

“And that beautiful park, enjoyed by Gary’s friends and a godsend for so many during lockdown, will now always be the place where he was taken from us. An old school friend who lives nearby said he can never again walk through it without thinking about that cruelty.

“I have been unable to enter it since that fateful night,” he added.

Louis Williams, a victim in the case and whose attempts to stop Dr Jenkins from being beaten were called “exceptionally brave” by Judge Daniel Williams, said he was still in shock and struggled with feelings of guilt and wondering “could I have done more”.

As he sentenced Dr Jenkins’ attackers, Judge Williams said: “The world is all the more dimmer for his passing. It’s less kind. It’s less colourful, with less humour, music and energy.

“I have no doubt it will be of some comfort to those who most keenly feel his loss to reflect on the good that he did in his 54 years and not the terrible injustice of his last moments.”

Turning to the defendants, he added: “It seems that each of you wanted to show off how little you valued human life and in a grotesque display of savage violence you took the life of a man who valued life, his and others, very deeply.”

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