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:

Firefighters battle loft blaze in Witney

Oxford Mail: Fire engine Oxfordshire

10:01am Sunday 21st December 2014

FIREFIGHTERS were able to stop a roof fire spreading and destroying the rest of the house last night.

What brilliant picture is in our Oxford Mail Advent Calendar today?

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014

December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?

Skye Hall's family: Our first Christmas without our brave son

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

LOOM bands are taking over the house of Skye Hall’s family as they prepare to spend their first Christmas without the brave youngster who died in August.

Hudspeth backs councillors in demand to be told man's pay in allowances row

Oxford Mail: Ian Hudspeth

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

OXFORDSHIRE County Council leader Ian Hudspeth has backed councillors Rodney Rose and Kevin Bulmer who asked a voter to reveal his wages when he challenged them over a 19 per cent hike in their allowance.

Two arrested for GBH after man injured in fight

Oxford Mail:

5:24pm Saturday 20th December 2014

Two teenagers from Witney were arrested last night after a man suffered a broken arm.

Oxfam "accepts" tweet ruling

Oxford Mail:

2:23pm Saturday 20th December 2014

OXFAM has said it accepts criticism from charity regulators over an alleged “party political” tweet about a “perfect storm” of poverty.

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