MAN STABBED 15 TIMES IN GRAVEYARD ATTACK
Court told victim’s former girlfriend ordered killing
A BEACONSFIELD woman arranged for an ex-boyfriend to be murdered in a graveyard in High Wycombe, a jury has been told.
Reading Crown Court heard on Tuesday that Lee Gillespie was stabbed 15 times in the brutal attack, carried out by Martin Stanislaus, another former partner of Jodie Willis.
The jury was told that Jodie Willis, of the Mead, Beaconsfield, ordered the graveyard killing, which took place on August 22 last year at All Saints Church in High Wycombe, over the ‘bitterness and resentment’ she felt over a ‘partner swap’.
Mr Gillespie was knifed up to 15 times when he tripped and fell when trying to run away from three people who had come to confront him.
Stanislaus and Willis were led to the churchyard by Lee Burns, who at the time of the attack was living with Willis.
Burns and Willis had been involved in an argument in the same churchyard with Mr Gillespie and his new partner, Lea Sinclair, earlier in the day.
That led to Willis contacting Stanislaus and ordering him to attack Mr Gillespie in retaliation, according to prosecuters.
Prosecuter Alan Blake told the jury at Reading Crown Court that the defendants had gone to the home Mr Gillespie shared with Miss Sinclair and then wrecked it when they discovered the couple weren’t home.
They instead went to the churchyard, where they found Mr Gillespie and stabbed him to death, the court was told.
Prosescuters said that although 38-yearold Stanislaus delivered the fatal blows – which, the court heard, were ‘ delivered with great force’ – Willis and Burns were secondary parties as they helped organise the violence.
Stanislaus, Burns and Willis all deny murder and Stanislaus additionally denies a charge of possessing a blade in a public place.
The court heard that Willis felt bitter towards Miss Sinclair, after a ‘partner swap’ in which Miss Sinclair had begun a relationship with Mr Gillespie, while Willis had taken up with Miss Sinclair’s former partner Nick Baker.
Mr Blake told the jury: “While it was Stanislaus who stabbed Lee Gillespie, Jodie Willis and Lee Burns are indicted as secondary partners to that murder. In other words, they share responsibility for the attack.”
After the killing Stanislaus and Burns got the next train out of Wycombe and went back to Willis’s home in Beaconsfield, where the killer removed his clothing and buried it in the garden alongside the knife, Mr Blake told the jury.
Mr Blake told the jury: “As the blows rained down on Lee Gillespie, some witnesses suggest Willis sought to get Stanislaus to stop.
“She may very quickly have come to regret what they had done, and the violence she had set in motion, but by then it was too late.
“The subsequent regret is no defence to a charge of murder.”
The trial continues in front of Judge John Reddihough.
Victim: Lee Gillespie was stabbed 15 times during the attack