Oxford

Ben Blakeley 'buried Jayden Parkinson in uncle's grave'

  • 23 June 2014
  • From the section Oxford
Jayden Parkinson
Jayden Parkinson was found dead on 18 December

Teenager Jayden Parkinson was killed by her violent ex-boyfriend and buried in his uncle's grave, a jury has heard.

Ben Blakeley, 22, is on trial at Oxford Crown Court charged with murdering the 17-year-old.

The jury heard Jayden was pregnant and that Mr Blakeley, of Christchurch Road, Reading, was the father.

He has admitted manslaughter and perverting the course of justice, but denies murder.

Jayden's body was found on 18 December in a disturbed grave at the cemetery in All Saints' Church, Didcot, two weeks after she was reported missing.

The grave belonged to Mr Blakeley's uncle, Alan Kennedy, who had died in 2006.

Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, said a worker at a children's home Thornbury House in Oxford recalled a conversation she had with Mr Blakeley when he lived there aged 13 or 14 in which he said if he ever had to get rid of a body, he would "put it in a family member's grave".

"When asked why, she said he replied he would do it because the DNA would 'rub off' and no-one would look in a grave," Mr Latham said.

'Obsessive and abusive'

The prosecutor said Mr Blakeley was "controlling to an obsessive and excessive degree".

He added: "He was verbally abusive towards her and he consistently used force on her and hit her."

Jayden Parkinson CCTV image
Police issued CCTV of Jayden boarding a train at Oxford station

The jury heard that Jayden was told by Mr Blakeley to stay in her room at the hostel One Foot Forward in Oxford, where she had been living for four weeks.

She was told by him not to shower there or use the bathroom.

"She was not allowed to use the toilet and had to use a bottle," Mr Latham said.

The court heard Mr Blakeley told Jayden he had strangled a previous girlfriend and he had thrown away the teenager's keys and mobile phone.

Mr Latham said: "He made her feel it was her fault that he needed to hit her."

'Pregnancy conversation'

She ended their relationship on 21 November 2013.

The jury was told she then discovered she was pregnant and that Mr Blakeley was the father.

Mr Blakeley had confiscated her phone, so Jayden asked to use the phone in the hostel's office in front of staff to ring him, a call which lasted 45 minutes.

"He was angry and abusive and saying it was someone else's and not him that was the father," Mr Latham said.

"It seems on an earlier occasion she had told him that she had slept with someone else."

Naked picture threat

The jury heard Mr Blakeley had taken 13 videos of her and 30 pictures on his mobile phone when she was naked and he threatened to put them on the internet.

She reported this to the police on 27 November.

In her statement, she said: "I am terrified that he might send them everywhere."

She left on 3 December to meet Blakeley to discuss her pregnancy, the court heard.

The last sighting of the pair together was at Didcot railway station, Oxfordshire, that day.

Map: Locations around Didcot

Mr Latham said: "The prosecution's case is that Jayden was killed by Ben Blakeley that evening in open countryside.

"We cannot be precise about location for this, simply because unlike most killings the body was not found by police where the offence occurred. It was moved and then concealed."

A 17-year-old from Didcot, who cannot be named, is also on trial.

He changed his plea on the first day of the trial and admitted perverting the course of justice but denied a new count of preventing the lawful burial of Jayden.

Questioned by police

The prosecution claims Jayden was killed on 3 December between 16:27 GMT, when she was last seen at Didcot station, and 21:46.

Mr Latham said police had been unable to work out what happened once she and Blakeley left the station.

He said: "She was reported to the police as a missing person in the early hours on the 4th.

"By then, we say, she was dead."

A post-mortem examination found there was bruising on her face and neck and that the cause of death was pressure to the neck.

Mr Blakeley had been arrested in Reading on 4 December on suspicion of possessing indecent images of Jayden and was questioned by police.

Mr Latham said: "He was talking about her and talking as though she was still alive."

Police at All Saints Church in Didcot
Police discovered Jayden's body at All Saints Church in Didcot

He added: "He was being aggressive in this interview."

Mr Blakeley was released from custody after the interview.

'Suitcase taxi ride'

Jayden's body was found on 18 December in a disturbed grave at the cemetery in All Saints' Church, Didcot, two weeks after she was reported missing.

The next day, Mr Latham said a taxi driver picked up Mr Blakeley from a track road called Stream Road in Upton at 01:55.

He said: "He got into the car and he said he wanted to pick up a suitcase because his girlfriend had kicked him out.

"He had intended to walk to Didcot with the suitcase but it was too heavy and he left it on the track."

Mr Latham said Mr Blakeley struggled to put the suitcase in the boot of the taxi so the driver helped him.

The jury heard Mr Blakeley was dropped off at Lydalls Road in Didcot near All Saints' Church at 02:15.

The trial continues.

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