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.
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Our top stories
8:30am Wednesday 25th November 2015
TRADE in Oxford is dwindling with businesses blaming the fall in shoppers on roadworks and high parking charges.
8:30am Wednesday 25th November 2015
OXFORDSHIRE’S picturesque countryside, rich history and thriving city centre proved to be a stronger magnet for tourists again last year.
8:00am Wednesday 25th November 2015
BESTSELLING author Philip Pullman has described as “barbarism” proposed cuts to the arts an East Oxford theatre says could hit vulnerable young people.
6:30am Wednesday 25th November 2015
A NATIONAL memorial to the heroic D-Day raid by the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry has been approved and the hunt for £50,000 to pay for it has begun.
6:10am Wednesday 25th November 2015
A FORMER Cheney School pupil and now organiser of a major music festival planned for South Park next year has promised there will be a “strong local flavour” to the event.
11:48am Tuesday 24th November 2015
Two of Elton John's five UK 2016 concert dates will be in Oxfordshire, the star reveals today