Hostel worker saw 'transformation' in Jayden Parkinson after split with Blakeley, court told

Hostel worker saw 'transformation' in Jayden Parkinson after split with Blakeley, court told

Hostel worker saw 'transformation' in Jayden Parkinson after split with Blakeley, court told

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

A SUPPORT worker claimed in Oxford Crown Court there was a "transformation" in Jayden Parkinson after she split up with Ben Blakeley.

Her evidence was repeated this morning by Judge Patrick Eccles during his summing up of the case, as the 22-year-old's trial for murder draws to an end.

The judge said the claim was made by a staff member at the One Foot Forward hostel in Oxford, where Jayden lived before Ben Blakeley killed her on December 3 last year.

Judge Eccles told the jury the support worker, Courtney Bateman, said when she arrived at the hostel the 17-year-old remained in her room and refused to use the toilet or shower, allegedly because her boyfriend told her not to.

But after Ms Bateman returned from a week off she claimed Jayden had ended the relationship and undergone a "transformation" - becoming "a normal giggling teenage girl" who mixed with the other residents.

The evidence of Rebecca Stacey, an elderly neighbour who lived next door to Ben Blakeley's cousin Faith Kennedy in Reading, was also repeated by Judge Eccles.

He said she described the 22-year-old defendant as a "bully" and caused "an eruption from the public gallery" by making an offensive gesture at him as she left the court after giving her evidence.

Ben Blakeley, formerly of Christchurch Road, Reading, admits manslaughter and perverting the course of justice, but denies murder.

His younger brother Jake Blakeley, 17, of Venners Water, Didcot, admits perverting the course of justice but denies preventing a lawful burial.

The trial continues.

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