Killer ‘used younger brother as a tool to help him bury body’

The Oxford Times: Jake Blakeley Jake Blakeley

A TEENAGER who helped in the hiding of Jayden Parkinson’s body was just a “tool” used by his older brother, a jury heard yesterday.

During his closing speech, the barrister defending Jake Blakeley said the 17-year-old would never have knowingly played a role in burying Jayden.

Jake has admitted helping his brother Ben Blakeley dig two holes – one in a ditch near Upton and one in a Didcot cemetery – which were used to hide the teenager’s body.

But Martin Steen, defending, said his client had been described as a “lovely boy” who was friends with 17-year-old Jayden.

He told the jury: “If he had known he was helping to bury Jayden he would have run a mile.

“He liked her, she liked him, he wouldn’t have treated her in that way.

“Jake did try and help his brother, but he didn’t do it callously in the way that has been suggested. Please don’t condemn him for something he didn’t know about.”

The barrister added: “He was a tool of his brother, being used as a weapon.

“Ben wields him for the purposes he wants.”

Mr Steen quoted Ben’s cousin Faith Kennedy, saying Jake was “the sweetest person you will ever meet”, and Sarah Phasey, his friend’s mother, who said he was a “lovely boy”.

He also said the teenager was found to have a reading age of six.

He said: “The prosecution says that Jake is a determined liar. But he doesn’t have the intellect, he doesn’t have the ability to put on a performance in the way they suggest.

“Yes he’s done some stupid, some unwise, some unlawful things, but when it comes to it, he took police to the exact spot where he helped Ben dig a hole.”

He also quoted an interview Jake had with police after he was charged in which an officer suggested he had been living in Ben’s “shadow”.

Summing up Ben Blakeley’s case to the jury during the morning, Richard Benson QC said: “He did not think anybody would believe his account of what happened.

“He was alone with her. He is the only person alive who knows the whole story.

“And who is going to believe that when they have heard from his previous girlfriends and heard about his violence.”

Ben, formerly of Christ-church Road in Reading, admits manslaughter and perverting the course of justice, but denies murdering Jayden on December 3 last year. Jake, of Venners Water, Didcot, admits perverting the course of justice but denies preventing a lawful burial.

The trial continues.

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