Jayden Parkinson trial: Judge Patrick Eccles' sentencing remarks

Judge Patrick Eccles

Judge Patrick Eccles

First published in News

JUDGE Patrick Eccles' remarks when sentencing Ben Blakeley for the murder of Jayden Parkinson

YOU were both physically and emotionally abusive towards Jayden Parkinson.

You dominated and controlled her everyday life by demanding that she should have no contact with other young men.

You removed her phone so she could not contact others, and when she was at the hostel at One Foot Forward you demanded that she stay in her room, even to the extent of forbidding her for a while from using the toilet, with the result that she had to urinate in milk bottles.

There were occasions when you argued with Jayden, when you assaulted her with slaps, punches, kicks, stamps and bites; and there were dangerous attacks upon Jayden Parkinson when you squeezed her neck with enough force to leave marks.

Yet, like so many victims of domestic violence, Jayden was infatuated with you, her violent abuser, and found it difficult to separate emotionally from you.

She may not have a been a perfect young woman but you deliberately and selfishly encouraged her emotional dependence on you by manipulating her feelings.

In November 2013, Jayden Parkinson, with the help of the support staff at One Foot Forward, found the willpower to end her relationship with you and there is cogent evidence that she became much happier and more confident when she had taken that decision and was looking forward to a new and better life.

Unfortunately, she discovered that she was pregnant and that you were the father, but being a decent young woman she wished to inform you of that fact and to offer you the chance in due course of seeing your child.

I am satisfied on all the evidence I have heard that she was in fact pregnant with your child but you utterly refused to believe her.

Jayden Parkinson only went out to meet you, against the advice of staff at the hostel, in order to persuade you of the truth about her condition. You manipulated her feelings so that she felt she had no choice but to go with you to Didcot and then into the fields where she met her end.

There you strangled her to death in a jealous rage and in doing so gave no thought to the possibility that she might indeed have been carrying your child.

You created a web of lies about where she might be, accompanied by obscene imprecations that you did not care where she was and that she meant nothing to you.

It required a heart of stone to keep up that pretence, and a heart of stone as well to deal with her body in the way you did.

What is shocking to all who have had anything to do with the police investigation and subsequent trial is the knowledge that in the early hours of the morning of the December 9 you returned to that ditch and dug up Jayden Parkinson’s body.

You then crammed the mortal remains of poor Jayden into a suitcase and having prepared a false story to explain your actions persuaded an unwitting taxi driver to help you transport her body to All Saints’ Church in Didcot.

Though in your twisted mind you may possibly have thought that a graveyard was a better place for Jayden to be buried than a ditch in a field, there was no hint of respect or remorse in this hasty interment.

I am convinced that your primary purpose was to prevent anyone else from ever knowing what had happened to Jayden Parkinson.

Jayden Parkinson’s burial in this way is not only shocking for all who have listened to the evidence, but it was and always will be an intensely distressing memory for her family; her poor father passed away just before this trial and he must have been haunted before he died by the thought of what you had done to his daughter.

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