Ex-boyfriend accused of pregnant Jayden murder: trial starts

Jayden Parkinson. Photo: Thames Valley Police/PA WireJayden Parkinson. Photo: Thames Valley Police/PA Wire
Jayden Parkinson. Photo: Thames Valley Police/PA Wire
A violent and controlling man murdered his teenage ex-girlfriend – former Colne Primet High School pupil Jayden Parkinson – and buried her in his uncle’s grave a day after finding out she was pregnant with his child, a court heard.

Ben Blakeley killed 17-year-old Jayden in the Oxfordshire countryside on December 3rd last year – 24 hours after she had told him she was expecting his child.

Blakeley was obsessive and controlling and after their split he had threatened to post intimate naked videos and photos of Jayden on Facebook – hoping she would kill herself as a result, Oxford Crown Court heard.

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Six days after killing the petite teenager, Blakeley stuffed her body into a large suitcase.

He got a taxi driver – who even had to help him lift the heavy suitcase into the boot – to drive him to All Saints’ churchyard in Didcot, where his uncle Alan Kennedy is buried.

In the graveyard, Blakeley and his co-accused - a 17-year-old boy who cannot be identified for legal reasons - buried Jayden’s body in the grave of Mr Kennedy, who died in 2006.

Blakeley (22), of Christchurch Road, Reading, Berkshire, has denied murdering Jayden but has admitted her manslaughter and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

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But the prosecution refused to accept his plea and he has now gone on trial alongside the boy.

The youth has also pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice, but denies a charge of preventing a lawful burial.

Mr Richard Latham QC (prosecuting) told the jury of five men and seven women Blakeley was obsessive and controlling and regularly beat Jayden.

When the teenager disappeared on December 3rd, she had been living at the One Foot Forward hostel in Oxford and the last confirmed sighting of her was later that day with Blakeley at Didcot railway station.

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“The prosecution case is that Jayden was killed by Ben Blakeley that same evening in open countryside south of Didcot – there is no dispute between prosecution and defence,” Mr Latham said.

“We cannot be precise about the 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 or has said.

“Ben Blakeley and Jayden had been in a relationship for some time before her death.

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“On any view it was difficult. We allege he was controlling, to an obsessive and excessive degree. He was violent and abusive to her and controlling and hitting her.

“The relationship seems to have come to an end around November 23rd last year – so very shortly before her death.”

The court has heard Blakeley was also violent towards partners in previous relationships, including pushing one downstairs when she was seven months pregnant.

Mr Latham said Jayden found the ending of the relationship difficult and later discovered she was expecting his child after taking two pregnancy tests at the hostel.

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When she first moved to the hostel she remained in her room, refusing to leave to get food or use the toilet.

“Jayden explained to a member of staff she had a boyfriend and was not coming out of her room because he had told her not to,” Mr Latham said.

“He told her he knew other people that lived at the hostel and they would report any transgressions to him.

“He made her feel it was her fault he needed to hit her. You may think this is a classic sign of a bullying and abusive relationship – somehow making the victim feel it is their fault.”

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After splitting up with Blakeley, Jayden reported him to the police about the videos and pictures and he was arrested – the day after he killed her.

She told police Blakeley had asked if they could get back together, but she refused because she had “had enough of his possessive, controlling and abusive behaviour”.

On the day of her death, she rang him and they arranged to meet. They were last seen together arriving at Didcot railway station at 4-27pm with Blakeley returning alone at 10-04pm.

When Blakeley was arrested on December 11th on suspicion of kidnapping Jayden, he told police: “To be honest I don’t give a shit where she is. If she has got a new boyfriend he can deal with it. I don’t want to sound nasty but that’s how it is.”

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The next day, Blakeley was arrested on suspicion of murder and replied “no comment” to all questions.

Jayden’s body was recovered from the grave on December 19th.

A post-mortem examination found that Jayden died as a result of pressure to the neck. There was also evidence of “relatively widespread” areas of bruising to her face and scalp which was indicative of being caused by a fist or foot.

The trial continues.

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