Joanna Dennehy, 34, who was convicted of killing three men in England and the attempted murder of two other men, has filed a lawsuit against the prison for damages. Dennehy is being held at HMP Bronzefield in Ashford, Middlesex. She claims that being segregated from the other prisoners has caused her to to feel “tearful and upset,” and it violates her human rights. She wants compensation for her emotional distress.
The prison has defended its decision, saying that Joanna Dennehy wrote of an escape plan in her diary that included cutting off a guard’s finger to trick the biometric security system. Knowing the horrific crimes of Dennehy makes this threat all too possible.
In March 2013, Dennehy, a mother-of-two, killed three men and attacked two others to satiate her “sadistic love for blood.” Her first victim was housemate Lucasz Slaboszewski. Her second victim was John Chapman. A photograph of Chapman’s body was found on Leslie Lee’s phone, an accomplice of Dennehy’s. The date stamp was March 29, 2013. The third was her landlord, Kevin Lee, who had told his wife he was having an affair with Dennehy just two days prior to his murder. His body was found on March 30. Slaboszewski and Lee’s bodies were found on April 3 by a farmer. All men died of multiple stab wounds and their bodies were disposed of in ditches. The case became known as the Petersborough Ditch Murders.
In April, 2013, while on the run, Dennehy and accompliace Gary Stretch, a formidable seven-foot, three-inch man, attacked two dog walkers, Robin Bereza and John Rogers. The men survived their stab wounds due to prompt medical attention. Rogers, who was stabbed 40 times, died in 2015.
Joanna Dennehy surprised the court by pleading guilty to the crimes in February, 2014. Dennehy was reported to have laughed when Judge Justice Spencer called her a “cruel, calculated, selfish and manipulative serial killer.” Dennehy started crying, however, when she was sentenced to life in prison.
Dennehy is only the third woman in the United Kingdom to receive such a sentence. The other two women were serial killers Rose West and Myra Hindley. Rose West and her husband, Fred West, committed 10 murders of young women. Myra Hindley was infamous for the Moors Murders, the sexual assault and killing of five children with accomplice, Ian Brady.
After her incarceration, Dennehy told a psychiatrist, “I killed to see how I would feel, to see if I was as cold as I thought I was. Then it got more-ish,” according to the Daily Star.
According to her younger sister, Joanna Dennehy grew up in a stable, hard-working family. Maria Dennehy described her sister as being a “bright, happy and bookish” child. Maria said she never saw any violence from her sister but that Joanna started running away from home when she was just 13-years-old. Joanna ran away the last time at the age of 15 and was gone for seven years before contacting the family again.
A psychiatrist diagnosed Joanna Dennehy as “psychopathic, anti-social, and having an emotional instability disorder.” She was described as seeking notoriety. Dennehy claims she has killed four other people, according to the Daily Mail.
Joanna Dennehy’s lawsuit against the prison is that the judge did not sentence her to segregation, the jail boss did. Her lawyer, Hugh Southey, told London’s High Court that Dennehy’s personality disorders were disabilities and her rights should be protected. He claimed she was subject to “torture and degrading treatment.”
Robin Bereza, a victim of Dennehy’s attack, was angry about the lawsuit.
“I don’t believe she is upset or teary at all. If she is citing the Human Rights Convention it make me think we should get out of Europe.”
Justice Singh will review the case as to whether any violations have been made against Joanna Denny. No decision has been made at this time.
[Image via Joanna Dennehy/Facebook]