Ben Blakeley found guilty of Jayden Parkinson's murder

Ben Blakeley

Ben Blakeley

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

JAYDEN Parkinson’s mother wept openly yesterday after Ben Blakeley was found guilty of her daughter’s murder.

The 22-year-old killer walked out of the dock, slamming the door behind him as the jury convicted him in a case described as the first of its kind.

Blakeley strangled his ex-girlfriend and, in a decision described as unique by the police, buried her body in the grave of his uncle Alan Kennedy.

Oxford Mail:

Jayden Parkinson

After 20 hours and 11 minutes of deliberations at Oxford Crown Court, the jury decided by a majority of 11-1 that he either intended to kill the 17-year-old or cause her really serious harm.

The decision arrived at just after 4.10pm, as Judge Patrick Eccles was preparing to send the jury home for a sixth time after they failed to reach a decision.

In a tense, packed courtroom the foreman read out the verdict and there were gasps and tears from Jayden’s family and friends in the public gallery.

The teenager’s mum Samantha Shrewsbury, 47, left the court weeping in the arms of a police family liaison officer while sobbing “my baby”.

Speaking after the hearing the senior investigating officer in the case, Det Supt Chris Ward, said he hoped the verdict would help bring closure to Jayden’s family. Her father Paul died of a suspected heart attack as the case was about to come to trial.

Det Supt Ward gave a short statement outside the court and said he was happy to see Blakeley convicted. 

He said: “Jayden Parkinson’s life was taken from her and today somebody was found guilty of her murder. 

“I welcome the verdict and that Ben Blakeley has been found guilty.

“Jayden’s family are extremely pleased. This is the start for them to get some closure.” 

He said as far as police were aware it was the first case in which a body had been discovered after being buried in an existing grave.

Det Supt Ward added: “It’s extremely unique.” 

And Det Ch Supt Andy Murray, head of force crime, said even police officers were stunned by the location of Jayden’s body. 

He said: “I think everybody, including police officers, were shocked and surprised. 

“As far as we are aware this is the only known instance of police discovering a body in such circumstances in an existing grave.” 

During the five-week trial the jury heard evidence about Ben Blakeley’s controlling, abusive and violent relationship with Jayden. 

Staff at the One Foot Forward hostel, in Iffley Road, Oxford, said the day before Blakeley killed her, Jayden told him she was pregnant with his child. 

On December 3 last year the pair went to a footbridge in open countryside near Upton, where the murder took place. 

The jury, after five days of deliberating, has not yet returned a verdict on the charge against his brother Jake, 17, of preventing Jayden’s unlawful burial. 

Judge Eccles told it to return today to continue considering the case. 
He also said Ben Blakeley would be sentenced this morning.

More Jayden Parkinson coverage:

Jayden's mum's fury to Jake Blakeley: I hope she haunts your dreams

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

9:00am Wednesday 4th February 2015

THE mother of murdered Jayden Parkinson told Jake Blakeley she hopes her teenage daughter ‘haunts his dreams’.

Jayden trial: Jake Blakeley accquitted of knowingly helping brother Ben bury murdered Jayden Parkinson's body

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

11:58am Tuesday 3rd February 2015

JAKE Blakeley is innocent of knowingly helping his older brother Ben bury the body of murdered Jayden Parkinson, a judge has ruled.

Jayden trial: Jury in Jake Blakeley case sent home until Tuesday

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

5:49pm Wednesday 28th January 2015

THE jury in the trial of Jake Blakeley will continue considering its verdict on Tuesday.

Jayden trial: Jury in Jake Blakeley case sent home for the night

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

2:57pm Tuesday 27th January 2015

THE jury in the Jake Blakeley trial has been sent home for the night.

Jake Blakeley 'playing stupid' to avoid blame, court hears

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 27th January 2015

A TEENAGER accused of knowingly digging holes to bury murdered Jayden Parkinson has been "playing stupid to win over the jury", the prosecution said.

Jayden Trial: Jake Blakeley accused of 'playing stupid' over Jayden Parkinson burial

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

5:00pm Monday 26th January 2015

A TEENAGER accused of knowingly digging holes to bury murdered Jayden Parkinson has been "playing stupid to win over the jury", the prosecution said.

Jayden trial: Jake Blakeley tells jury his killer brother was evil

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

A TEENAGER accused of helping his brother bury the body of Jayden Parkinson wept in the dock as he was told to look at photos of the two graves.

Jayden trial: Jake Blakeley, brother of Jayden's killer, takes the stand in his trial for preventing a lawful burial

Oxford Mail: Jayden Parkinson

2:05pm Friday 23rd January 2015

JAKE Blakeley, brother of murderer Ben Blakeley, has taken to the stand for the first time in his trial.

Jayden trial: Jake Blakeley asked woman to wash brother's muddy clothes, court hears

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

5:00pm Thursday 22nd January 2015

A WOMAN has described how the man accused of knowingly helping to bury Jayden Parkinson's body asked her to wash muddy clothes.

Jayden trial: Jury told Jake Blakeley was afraid of his older brother and did whatever he told him

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

5:48pm Wednesday 21st January 2015

A TEENAGER accused of knowingly helping to bury the body of Jayden Parkinson was afraid of his murderer brother and did whatever he told him, a jury was told.

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