Beds, Herts & Bucks

Three jailed for churchyard killing of Lee Gillespie in High Wycombe

Lee Gillespie Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Lee Gillespie died from multiple stab wounds

Two people have been jailed for life for the murder of a man who was stabbed in a Buckinghamshire graveyard.

Lee Gillespie, 26, died at All Saints Church in High Wycombe in August 2015.

Martin Stanislaus, 38, of Delta Grove, Northolt and Jodie Willis, 36, of The Mead, Beaconsfield, must serve 26 and 20 years respectively.

At Reading Crown Court Leigh Burns, 38, of Willcott Road, Ealing, was found guilty of manslaughter and jailed for 10 years.

The court heard Stanislaus and Willis travelled to the town on 22 August and were led to Mr Gillespie by Burns.

They chased him to the churchyard where he was attacked at about 20:50 BST and died at the scene.

Thames Valley Police said detectives "will never be able to fully understand" the motive for the murder, which they described as a "brutal attack" but it is known that Mr Gillespie was Jodie Willis's former boyfriend.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Emergency crews were called to All Saints Church where the victim was pronounced dead

Det Chief Insp Ailsa Kent said: "It is clear that the former relationship between Willis and Gillespie had some bearing on the events of that night.

"Willis and Burns not only stood by and watched, but encouraged Stanislaus to inflict the fatal violence on Lee Gillespie.

"There is nothing that can bring Lee back, but I hope that the convictions... will help Lee's loved ones as they come to terms with their loss."

In a statement, Mr Gillespie's family thanked "all the people for their courageous efforts to try and save our son" who was a "gentle, caring, loving man, who wouldn't judge anyone".

"So much heartache has been caused over the mad decision to take Lee's life including for the defendants' families. We are all suffering. Life will never be the same without Lee who we love and miss greatly," the statement read.

Stanislaus and Willis were also found guilty of perverting the course of justice and Stanislaus of possessing a knife blade in a public place.

Burns was cleared of murder and perverting the course of justice.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites