Justice for both Hereford stab victims

Justice for both Hereford stab victims

Stretch guilty of double attempted murder in Hereford

Dennehy - brutally attacked the two men in Hereford, after murdering three men in Peterborough

First published in News
Last updated
Ledbury Reporter: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

BOTH victims of the brutal stabbings in Hereford last April at the hands of serial killer Joanna Dennehy are today one step closer to justice.

Dennehy’s accomplices – 7ft 3 former-Kington man Gary Stretch, 47, and Leslie Layton, 37, of Orton Goldhay – have been found guilty of all charges, and will join the tattooed triple-murderer for sentencing in the next few weeks.

Stretch had already been convicted unanimously of attempted murder for his role in the stabbing of John Rogers in Hunderton – an attack that paramedics said left the retired Hereford man with around 40 stab wounds.

But today he was also found guilty on a second count of attempted murder, in relation to the stabbing of Hereford postman Robin Bereza earlier that day on Hereford’s Westfaling Street.

Talking to the BBC, Mr Rogers said, should he come face to face with Dennehy – herself a mother of two – he would simply ask her “why?”.

He also praised the work of the local emergency services.

“It was fantastic what they did,” he told BBC News.

“There was loads and loads of blood, I thought ‘this is it, I’m going to die’."

Walking near to his home, on a footpath off Golden Post, Mr Rodgers said he felt a sharp ‘punch’ in his lower back and thought it was a friend messing around.

When he turned around, Dennehy repeatedly stabbed him in the chest.

“She said ‘oh, you’re bleeding, I better do some more’,” Mr Rogers said.

“I said ‘please leave me alone’ but she just carried on.”

After Dennehy fled with Stretch, Mr Rogers was found on the footpath and flown by helicopter to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Mr Bereza was already there, following a similar attack that Stretch’s associate Mark Lloyd  told the court was “like a scene from Psycho”.

Both men recovered from serious injuries to give evidence at the trial, which started at Cambridge Crown Court last month.

The jury convicted Stretch, of Riseholme, Orton Goldhay, on both counts of attempted murder, as well as three counts of preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body – the three men Dennehy killed and dumped near Peterborough before fleeing to Hereford.

Leslie Layton was convicted of perverting the course of justice, and two further counts of preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body.

Dennehy, also of Orton Goldhay, had already pleaded guilty to the three murders, and both attempted murders at the Old Bailey last year.

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