TRIAL REACTION: Murder shocked community in Narberth
5:42pm Wednesday 4th April 2012 in Narberth
THE horrific death of a Narberth grandmother last summer left a community reeling.
Peaceful pensioner Angelika Dries-Jenkins and her callous murderer John William Mason lived at opposing ends of the scale of life in the same community.
The gentle grandmother, devoted to her family and friends, happily led a quiet existence – one made all the more precious by the fact she had overcome cancer two years previously.
By contrast, misfit Mason – the son of Mrs Dries-Jenkins’s next-door neighbour – had a troubled past. Disfigured from setting himself on fire in a suicide attempt, he had attempted a petrol station robbery with an imitation gun and had more recently threatened to kill an 11-year-old boy.
But it was the slightly-built, grey-haired Mrs Dries-Jenkins who was to pay the ultimate sacrifice at the hands of Mason.
Mrs Dries-Jenkins was just two days away from her 67th birthday when she was found by her own daughter at her neat two-storey cottage on the outskirts of Narberth.
Originally from Germany, she had first come to Pembrokeshire on her honeymoon 40 years ago and chose the county as her home and the place to raise her two daughters and her son.
“The violent nature of our mother’s death is in all too horrible a contrast with the way in which she lived her life. Quietly and gently,” her family said.
“John Mason has, through his actions, made victims not only of our mother and her family but, indeed, of those in the community.
“What he stole goes far beyond mere money.”
And this has been echoed by Mrs Dries-Jenkins’ county councillor, Elwyn Morse.
He said: “There is relief within the community that there has been a conviction, and our thoughts go out to the family of Mrs Dries-Jenkins.
“Our thoughts must also go to the family of the convicted man, who are very pleasant, well-respected members of the community.”
Mason, who had attended Narberth’s church primary school and later the town’s secondary modern school, had been “a bit different” all his life, said one local resident.
He added: “There are two families who are badly affected by this tragedy – the family of Mrs Dries-Jenkins and the family of Mason, who are good, honest, solid Pembrokeshire people.”
The shocking incident last June was ‘so much out of character’ for Narberth, said the town’s Rector, Rev Peter Lewis.
“Narberth is a very close and supportive community, and the town has been very good at offering support to everyone concerned,” he added.
“I think that focusing on the good things that normally happen in the town has helped us to recover our equilibrium, and everyone has a very high regard for the way the police carried out their investigation.”