Cambridgeshire

Joanne Dennehy: Triple killer fails in bid for damages over prison trauma

Joanne Dennehy Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Joanne Dennehy stabbed her victims through the heart and dumped their bodies before going on the run and stabbing two dog walkers

Triple killer Joanne Dennehy has failed in a bid to get compensation for solitary confinement in jail after claiming it was a violation of her human rights.

Dennehy, 33, from Peterborough, is serving life for murdering three men whose bodies were found in ditches in Cambridgeshire in 2013.

She also attempted to murder two men in Hereford.

Dennehy had claimed continued isolation left her "tearful and upset".

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She was refused permission to appeal the decision herself but Dennehy's legal team has been given 35 days to ask the Court of Appeal to hear her case.

'Escape plan'

The killer, who was given a whole-life sentence at her Old Bailey trial and jailed in February 2014, challenged Justice Secretary Michael Gove over HMP Bronzefield's decision to continue to keep her separated from other prisoners, which entailed long periods of isolation.

The High Court heard Dennehy was initially segregated while on remand after a "credible escape plan" involving her and two other prisoners had been uncovered.

One aspect of the alleged plan was that "the finger of an officer would be cut off in an attempt to deceive the biometric security system at the prison".

Government lawyers conceded the segregation period between 19 September 2013 and 4 September 2015 was technically unlawful because it was not properly authorised by former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling but said it was fair, justified and lawful due to the nature of Dennehy's offending and the escape risk she posed.

In her High Court challenge, she claimed she had been "unfairly and unlawfully" held, with barrister Hugh Southey QC arguing continued isolation left her "tearful and upset" and she had at times resumed her practice of self-harming.

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He said the escape allegations were never properly put to her and no further action was taken.

She insisted that the alleged plot was nothing more than a "doodle" found in her diary, Mr Southey said.

Jenni Richards QC, for the prison, had said she was "arguably the most dangerous female prisoner in custody".

At today's hearing, Mr Justice Singh ruled her segregation since September 2015 had been "in accordance with law" and "at all material times it has been necessary and proportionate".

Dennehy murdered Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, Kevin Lee, 48, and John Chapman, 56, in March 2013 before dumping their bodies in ditches in and around Peterborough.

She went on the run and subsequently stabbed dog walkers Robin Bereza, 64, and 56-year-old John Rogers.

Dennehy is only the third woman to be given a whole-life prison term.

Moors murderer Myra Hindley and serial killer Rose West are the other two.

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