Evidence ‘does not point to death in seconds’

Herald Series: Jayden Parkinson Jayden Parkinson

A FORENSIC pathologist said Jayden Parkinson’s death was caused by “pressure to the neck”.

Dr Alexander Kolar was responding to suggestions the teenager could have died in “just a few seconds” as he was giving evidence at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.

Richard Benson QC, defending her ex-boyfriend Ben Blakeley, who admits manslaughter but denies murder, put it to the expert witness Jayden may have died very suddenly. He asked if she may have been killed as a result of vagal inhibition – where pressure on the vagus nerve in the neck can stop a person’s heart.

But Dr Kolar said in such cases there is usually “a completely negative post mortem” with no injuries whatsoever, but Jayden had bruises on her face and head, as well as internal injuries to her neck.

Mr Benson said: “It has not been disputed that the accused took Jayden by the neck.

“In the absence of there being significant trauma to the neck, young Jayden could have expired very, very quickly.

“It could have been a matter of just a few seconds that she was being gripped.”

Dr Kolar said: “We have no reliable data on how long it takes to cause death from pressure to the throat.

“These are not trivial injuries to the neck, this is a relatively severe set of injuries.”

Mr Benson also asked if the bruises could have been caused after she “toppled off a bridge”. Dr Kolar replied: “I can’t exclude that.”

The trial continues.

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