Digging hole in grave where Jayden was found would have taken "hours", court told

Herald Series: Digging hole in grave where Jayden was found would have taken "hours", court told Digging hole in grave where Jayden was found would have taken "hours", court told

A FORENSIC archeologist has said it would have taken "hours" to dig the hole in an existing grave in which Jayden Parkinson's body was found.

This morning Dr Karl Harrison told a jury in Oxford Crown Court that he was asked by Thames Valley Police to go to the cemetery next to All Saint's Church, Didcot, on December 18.

He said as he examined the grave of Ben Blakeley's uncle, Alan Kennedy, he started to reveal the missing 17-year-old's body buried at a depth of 38cm.

After removing all the recently-disturbed earth from the grave, which had been marked out with green twine and screws by whoever buried Jayden, Dr Harrison said the hole was 1.67m long and 0.65m deep.

He was asked by prosecutor Richard Latham QC how long it would have taken a single person working alone to remove the earth, which had a volume of half a cubic meter.

Dr Harrison replied: "It would take a significant investment of time.
"Anyone who has dug a hole in their back garden knows how long it takes.
"It was by no means easy digging.
"It would have taken a matter of hours, rather than minutes."

He also said two different types of digging were apparent from the hole, one which appeared to have used a small amount of force, and the other which was much more forceful.

Blakeley, who admits manslaughter, is on trial and denies murdering Jayden on December 3, after it is said she 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 and denies one count  of preventing a lawful burial.

As the discovery of Jayden's body was described in court the 17-year-old defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, left the dock in a distressed state. His barrister said he felt "unwell".

The trial continues.

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