Jury told of violence, a life on the streets, jealousy and blackmailing

Ben Blakeley pictured with Jayden Parkinson

Ben Blakeley pictured with Jayden Parkinson

First published in News

DETAILS of Blakeley and Jayden’s turbulent relationship emerged throughout the trial.

And evidence from his previous girlfriends portrayed him as violent and controlling.

Katie Gale, 21, told the trial that Blakeley tried to strangle her about 10 times, threatened to “cut her up in the bath” and admitted to her that he was “possessive, controlling and jealous”.

She and Blakeley got together in 2009 and stayed together until she broke it off in October 2012 because she said he had stolen from her again.

And prosecutor Richard Latham QC said on one occasion Blakeley threw his 16-year-old girlfriend Kirsty Penford down the stairs while she was seven months’ pregnant with his baby.

The jury heard that Blakeley first met Jayden when she was 14 and he was 19 and got together in the summer of 2012.

Blakeley said: “I remember the day when we first... when it kicked off.

“I went to her house and she had a dress with flowers on it. That was when we first kissed.”

Describing their relationship, he said the pair “had a laugh”, drinking and smoking cannabis together.

When Jayden left home in Didcot in 2013, Blakeley said the couple lived together on the streets in Reading, but said they would still go to the cinema or out for meals if they had money.

He also said they enjoyed free activities, like visiting museums, libraries and churches.

Blakeley said: “When we were on the road we were together 24/7, all day and all night. There was nothing for me to be paranoid about.

“Me and Jayden, we had chemistry man. We were pretty good.”

He also described the 17-year-old as “fiery”, adding: “She kept me on my toes.”

Blakeley said the pair would work together to steal food from shops while they were homeless.

His barrister Richard Benson QC described the couple as “partners in crime”.

Blakeley said: “We struggled together.”

But Mr Latham described Blakeley as “controlling, obsessive and abusive” in his relationship with Jayden.

The court heard Blakeley told Jayden she wasn’t allowed to shower or use the toilets at the One Foot Forward hostel where she was staying and must stay in her room all the time.

Mr Latham said Blakeley was often violent towards Jayden, with one neighbour reporting seeing her with a black eye and other bruises.

He also kept naked pictures and videos of her on his BlackBerry which he threatened to put on Facebook if she didn’t do what he said.

Mr Latham said Jayden split up with Blakeley on November 21, but she “sadly found it difficult to let go”.

He told the jury the 17-year-old had discovered she was pregnant and went to meet her ex-partner on the day she died to try to convince him the baby was his.

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