Jayden’s killer is accused of highly controlling behaviour

The Oxford Times: Ben Blakeley Ben Blakeley

THE man who killed Jayden Parkinson after she told him she was pregnant has a history of abusive and violent relationships, a jury has heard.

Ben Blakeley – who denies murdering the 17-year-old – was accused of punching, kicking and trying to strangle previous girlfriends, even allegedly biting one girl’s face.

Prosecutor Richard Latham QC said on one occasion he threw a 16-year-old girl down the stairs and threatened to stab her in the stomach while she was seven months’ pregnant with his baby.

He described Blakeley as a man “who seriously injuries women” and had either intended to kill Jayden – who died from pressure to the neck and had facial bruising – or cause her really serious injury.

Her body was found buried in the grave of the 22-year-old’s uncle, Alan Kennedy, in a cemetery next to All Saints’ Church in Didcot on December 18 last year.

The jury heard this week how when he was younger Blakeley told a staff member at an Oxford children’s home if he ever wanted to get rid of a body he would put it in a family grave.

Blakeley, who admits man-slaughter, is on trial at Oxford Crown Court accused of murdering Jayden on December 3, after she allegedly 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.

Mr Latham told the jury: “His relationship with (Jayden) was characterised by highly controlling behaviour and violence.

“His relationships with other women will answer the question of whether he used minimal violence towards her, that happened to kill her, or if she died as a result of an attack in which at very least he intended to cause her really serious harm.

“He is a man, the prosecution say, who seriously injures women.”

Mr Latham said Blakeley had threatened to kill one girlfriend on a number of occasions, tried to strangle another and punched a third in the ribs.

The barrister said, like during his relationship with Jayden, the defendant would confiscate his partner’s phones and try to control their lives.

Giving evidence yesterday, Hannah Ryan, Jayden’s key worker at the One Foot Forward hostel, said the teenager became isolated because of Blakeley’s behaviour.

She said: “Jayden said over time she had lost all her friends, both male and female, and had been left with no friends.

“She said that Ben had been the cause of her falling out with them.”

And when the relationship ended she told the jury Jayden’s mood completely changed.

Miss Ryan said: “She was just really happy, playing around with the others and having fun.”

After she found out she might be pregnant the witness said she spoke to Blakeley on the phone, but “it wasn’t a good conversation”.

She added: “Jayden was getting all distressed and upset. Blakeley was on the other end of the phone and was being very nasty and aggressive.”

She said Jayden repeated what Ben was saying so she could hear and said: “You are going to push me off a bridge if I’m pregnant?

“If you touch me I’ll go to the police, you know I will. If you lay a finger on me I’ll go to the police.”

The following day she was killed after being seen on CCTV with Blakeley at Didcot Railway Station.

The youth on trial with Blakeley, who cannot be named because of legal reasons, denies preventing a lawful burial between December 2 and December 10 last year.

The trial continues.

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