THERE were angry and emotional scenes in Oxford Crown Court when Ben Blakeley first admitted killing his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend.
The 22-year-old made the surprise admission during a plea hearing on March 17 this year and it prompted gasps and cries of disbelief from the public gallery.
Jayden Parkinson’s father Paul, who died a week before the start of the trial, stormed out of court and there were angry shouts as Blakeley faced the teenager’s family and said “I’m sorry” while sitting in the dock.
His five-week trial began on June 23 and was marked by regular outbursts from the man whose relationship with Jayden was described as violent, controlling and obsessive.
Judge Patrick Eccles
Prosecution barrister Richard Latham QC characterised Blakeley from the start as “a man who seriously injures women” who had been lucky not to badly hurt previous girlfriends.
The barrister said on one occasion Blakeley threw a 17-year-old who was seven months’ pregnant with his child down the stairs and threatened to stab her in the stomach.
He would slap, punch, kick and throttle his partners when they didn’t obey him, Mr Latham said, as well as confiscating their phones and forbidding them from wearing make-up.
The prosecutor also revealed that, aged just 13, the defendant allegedly boasted that if he ever needed to dispose of a body he would bury it in a family member’s grave.
Ben Blakeley’s 17-year-old brother Jake pleaded guilty at the start of the trial to perverting the course of justice, but the order banning naming him in the media was left in place until he gave evidence.
He denies preventing a lawful burial and the jury will continue its deliberations on Jake Blakeley tomorrow.
The first witness was Jayden’s key worker at the One Foot Forward hostel in Iffley Road, Oxford, Hannah Ryan, who said Jayden told her Blakeley had banned her from using the shower or going to the toilet.
The jury heard from three of his ex partners – Katie Gale, Sarah Rees and Kirsty Penford – who all described living in fear of Ben Blakeley and suffering violence at his hands.
Throughout the trial, CCTV images were played to the jury showing the movements of Jayden and her killer at various times, including at Didcot and Oxford railway stations on the day she went missing. There was also evidence from Go Green Taxis driver Adrian Stovell, who unwittingly helped Blakeley lift the 17-year-old’s body, hidden inside a suitcase, into the back of his taxi near Upton on the night of December 8.
On June 26, Ben Blakeley passed a note to his barrister Richard Benson QC saying sorry to Jayden’s sister Sharday George, who was giving evidence.
She refused to accept his apology.
Also called to give evidence was pathologist Alexander Kolar, who told the jury Jayden died from pressure to the neck and had bruises on her face.
And staff from HMP Bullingdon said Ben Blakeley, formerly of Christchurch Road, Reading, told them he was a “celebrity” and wanted to watch himself on TV.
Three police video interviews with him were played in court, in which he describes himself to detectives as an “evil motherf*****” and repeatedly denies killing his former partner.
Then on July 3, Blakeley entered the witness box himself, describing in detail how he met Jayden on December 3 and held her neck while demanding to know if she had slept with someone else.
He said: “I didn’t grab her that hard. I’ve grabbed her harder than that before.
“I was saying ‘tell me the truth, tell me the f****** truth’.
“I let go and she fell backward off the bridge on to the floor, on to the ground.”
More Jayden Parkinson coverage:
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- Pair not guilty of affray with Jayden Parkinson’s murderer
- Video: ‘Time will never erase the evil that took Jayden away from us’
- Video: Jayden Parkinson's mum says time will never erase the evil and she can't forgive the Blakeleys
- Jayden's mum's fury to Jake Blakeley: I hope she haunts your dreams
- Jayden trial: Jake Blakeley accquitted of knowingly helping brother Ben bury murdered Jayden Parkinson's body
- Jayden trial: Jury in Jake Blakeley case sent home until Tuesday
- Jayden trial: Jury in Jake Blakeley case sent home for the night
- Jake Blakeley 'playing stupid' to avoid blame, court hears