Killer’s cousin ‘could hear teenager being throttled’

Jayden Parkinson

Jayden Parkinson

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter. Call me on (01865) 425373

BEN Blakeley’s cousin said she heard him throttling Jayden Parkinson when the couple stayed with her before the 17-year-old was killed.

Blakeley, 22, admits manslaughter but denies murdering Jayden on December 3 last year.

Yesterday a jury in Oxford Crown Court heard evidence from Blakeley’s 21-year-old cousin Faith Kennedy about events last year, when she lived in Christchurch Road, Reading.

Questioned by prosecutor Richard Latham QC, she said Jayden’s relationship with Blakeley made her unhappy.

Mr Latham asked: “Did you see how Ben treated Jayden?”

She replied: “I was in the bedroom and I would hear noises, as if he had his hands round her neck.

“She would walk in afterwards crying and she would have red marks where he had strangled her.

“One time he was in the bathroom with her and he would throw her about and hit her head on the shower. I could hear it in the other room.”

Mr Latham asked: “Was Jayden a happy or unhappy girl during this period?”

Miss Kennedy said: “When Ben wasn’t around she was happy. Though she was crying a lot.”

Also giving evidence yesterday was forensic archaeologist Dr Karl Harrison. He told the court he was asked by the police to go to the cemetery next to All Saint’s Church, Didcot, on December 18.

He said that as he examined the grave of Ben Blakeley’s uncle, Alan Kennedy, he began to reveal the missing 17-year-old’s body buried at a depth of 38cm.

After removing all the recently-disturbed earth from the grave, Dr Harrison said, the hole was found to be 1.67m long and 0.65m deep.

He was asked by Mr Latham how long it would have taken one person to remove the earth, which had a volume of half a cubic metre.

Related links

Dr Harrison replied: “It would take a significant investment of time. Anyone who has dug a hole in their back garden knows how long it takes.

“It was by no means easy digging.

“It would have taken a matter of hours rather than minutes.”

Blakeley has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, along with a 17-year-old, who cannot be named and who allegedly helped him bury his victim’s body but denies preventing a lawful burial.

As the discovery of Jayden’s body was described in court, the younger defendant left the dock in a distressed state. His barrister said he felt “unwell”.

The trial continues.

  • You can subscribe to get alerts on the Jayden trial direct to your phone via our new WhatsApp service. Text JAYDEN and your full name to 07767 417704

Our top stories:

Cyclist sexually harassed two women in Oxford

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:57pm Friday 19th September 2014

A CYCLIST who sexually harassed two women this morning is being hunted by police.

Kennington roundabout contraflow switch put back by a month due to fragile cables

Oxford Mail: Oxfordshire County Council is spending £6m on turning the Kennington roundabout at the southern end of Abingdon Road into a “hamburger” style junction

3:19pm Friday 19th September 2014

A CHANGEOVER in the traffic system at Oxford’s Kennington Roundabout is to be delayed by four weeks, to mid-October.

First OxfordOxford festival cancelled a week before event

Oxford Mail:

1:50pm Friday 19th September 2014

THE inaugural OxfordOxford festival has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales and uncertainty with a booked artist, organisers have said today.

Alcoholic jailed for ‘sickening’ attack in street

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 19th September 2014

AN ALCOHOLIC who kicked a woman’s head like she was “taking a penalty” has been jailed.

‘Co-operation is key to ending child sex gangs’

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 19th September 2014

A HOME Office minister has admitted that social services and police officers should have been co-operating “for years” to stamp out child sexual exploitation.

Northern Gateway ‘will increase traffic by half’

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 19th September 2014

MORNING traffic on a main route into the city could increase by almost half if a major development in North Oxford goes ahead, it has been claimed.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree