‘If I had to get rid of a body I’d bury it in the grave of a family member’, Jayden trial jury hears (From Herald Series)
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‘If I had to get rid of a body I’d bury it in the grave of a family member’, Jayden trial jury hears
PREGNANT Jayden Parkinson’s killer boasted that he would dump a body in a family grave when he was just 13 years old.
Ben Blakeley, who admits killing his 17-year-old girlfriend, made the macabre claim to a staff member when he was at a children’s home, a jury in Oxford Crown Court heard yesterday.
Jayden’s body was discovered in the grave of Blakeley’s uncle Alan Kennedy in the cemetery next to All Saints’ Church in Didcot on December 18 last year.
Blakeley, 22, who admits manslaughter, is on trial accused of murdering her on December 3 after it is said Jayden told him she was pregnant with his child.
He has also pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice along with a 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who allegedly helped him bury his victim’s body.
The search for Jayden Parkinson’s body in a disturbed grave at All Saints’ Church in Didcot in December last year
Opening the case yesterday Richard Latham QC said a worker at Thornbury House in Oxford contacted police after hearing Blakeley had been arrested.
He said: “She recalled a conversation that she had with Blakeley years earlier. He said that if he ever had to get rid of a body he would put it in a family member’s grave. Rather a strange thing for a 13 or 14-year-old to say.
“She asked him why he would do that and the answer he gave was that the bones would get mixed up and cause confusion.
“He said the DNA would rub off and no-one would bother looking in a grave.”
Mr Latham described Blakeley’s relationship with his 17-year-old girlfriend as “controlling, obsessive and abusive”.
He said Jayden wasn’t allowed to shower or use the toilets at the One Foot Forward hostel in Iffley Road where she lived, had to remain in her room and was even told what to eat.
Flowers left outside All Saints’ Church in Didcot
Mr Latham said Blakeley, of Christchurch Road, Reading, was often violent towards the teenager, with neighbours reporting seeing her with a black eye and bruises on her neck.
He also kept 30 naked pictures and 13 explicit videos of her on his Blackberry mobile phone, the barrister said, which he threatened to put on Facebook.
Mr Latham told the jury: “When she was abused by Ben Blakeley he made her feel it was her fault which you may feel is a classic feature of a bullying and abusive relationship.”
He said Jayden eventually split up with Blakeley on November 21 last year but she “sadly found it difficult to let go”.
The barrister told the jury on the day she died Jayden went to meet her ex-partner after discovering she was pregnant.
Mr Latham said: “She said she had to try to persuade him that he was the father.”
Jayden was last seen alive on CCTV together with Blakeley at Didcot Railway Station on December 3 at 4.27pm.
Mr Latham said: “The prosecution case is that Jayden was killed by Ben Blakeley that same evening in open countryside south of Didcot.
“We cannot be precise about location for this simple reason – unlike most killings the body was moved from where the offence occurred.
“There is only one person alive who knows the truth and we would invite you to be very sceptical about what he says.”
The day after the killing Blakeley was arrested by police in connection with a separate complaint Jayden had made about him having indecent images of her. Mr Latham said during his interview Blakeley was asked when he had last seen her and said: “I try to have little contact with her as possible because she does drama like this.”
He added that a large, muddy suitcase was found at his grandmother’s address and a taxi driver had
reported picking him up with it near Upton in the early hours of December 9.
Mr Latham said that it was only after his co-defendant told police where she was buried that Jayden’s body was found and exhumed.
She died from pressure to the neck and had a number of bruises on her face and arms, the barrister said.
The youth on trial with Blakeley denies preventing a lawful burial between December 2 and December 10 last year.
The trial continues
Christmas 2012: Jayden Parkinson and Ben Blakeley begin their relationship.
November 21, 2013: Their relationship ends.
December 2: Jayden, above, gets a positive result on a pregnancy test and calls Ben Blakeley.
December 3, 3.31pm: Jayden is caught on CCTV leaving the One Foot Forward hostel where she had been staying for four weeks.
December 3, 4.06pm: She is seen on CCTV boarding a train at Oxford Railway Station.
December 3, 4.27pm: A security camera records the last known sighting of Jayden at Didcot Railway Station with Blakeley.
December 4: Shortly after midnight staff at One Foot Forward report her missing after she fails to return to the hostel.
December 4: Ben Blakeley is interviewed by police regarding indecent images of Jayden which she says he took without her permission.
December 8 and December 9: During the night the prosecution alleges Blakeley and his accomplice bury Jayden’s body in All Saints’ Church cemetery.
December 11: Blakeley is arrested on suspicion of Jayden’s murder.
December 18: Jayden’s body is found in All Saints’ Church cemetery.
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