Blakeley guilty of both murder and torturing a grieving family

Friday's comment

Friday's comment

First published in News

FINALLY, after more than a week of agonised waiting, Jayden Parkinson’s mother Samantha Shrewsbury finally saw the jury at Oxford Crown Court declare her daughter had been murdered.

This has been a torturous time for Ms Shrewsbury as well as the rest of her family and Jayden’s friends.

They have faced the loss of Jayden back in December and, for the past five weeks, have faced the test of attending court as her killer Ben Blakeley spun this saga out.

And of course, Jayden’s father Paul Parkinson died of a suspected heart attack shortly before the trial with some believing the stress would have contributed to this.

It is extremely rare for anyone to plead guilty to murder because it means a mandatory life sentence.

Yet Blakeley had admitted being responsible for her death when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was hoping he could fool a jury into falling for his claim that he did not mean to kill her.

But he must have known they would come to this verdict and so all he has done is add to the misery of Ms Shrewsbury.

The jury has plainly looked thoroughly at all the evidence presented to them so that they could be sure – 11 of them, at any rate – beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty of murder.

In our opinion that is the correct outcome.

Blakeley’s loss of temper and foul-mouthed outbursts in court under questioning from prosecutor Richard Latham was an insight into his likely demeanour and actions on that fateful night of December 3.

If he could display such anger when he was fighting for his life in the witness box of Oxford Crown Court number 1, was it really that unbelievable that he lost his temper in that final meeting with Jayden as they spoke about their unborn child?

Ms Shrewsbury was seen in tears after the verdict, with a police family liaison officer trying to comfort her.

Perhaps some of that emotion was relief – relief that the jury had seen through his story and relief that her daughter’s death has correctly now been officially recognised for what it was: a brutal murder.

Ben Blakeley is guilty of murdering Jayden Parkinson. He is also guilty of adding to her family’s pain for the past five weeks.

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