JAYDEN Parkinson’s family said justice had been done after her “sick and twisted” murderer was given a life sentence.
But reading a statement outside Oxford Crown Court, the 17-year-old’s grandfather Eric Shrewsbury said that their nightmare will never end.
Ben Blakeley will have to serve a minimum of 20 years behind bars after Judge Patrick Eccles yesterday jailed him for his “wicked behaviour”.
The 22-year-old strangled Jayden in open countryside south of Didcot after she met him to say she was pregnant with his child.
Then he buried her body in the grave of his uncle Alan Kennedy in a cemetery near All Saint’s Church in Didcot.
After Blakeley was jailed, the teenager’s mother Samantha Shrewsbury, 47, broke down in tears as she spoke of her grief at losing Jayden on December 3 last year.
She said: “Finally justice has been done for our Jayden.
Jayden Parkinson’s family outside court following Ben Blakeley’s sentencing. Front, left to right, are her grandad Eric Shrewsbury, mum Samantha Shrewsbury and sister Sharday George. Back, centre, is Samantha’s partner Dean Jones
- Listen: Jayden's family speak about their life sentence
“We would like to thank all of the prosecution witnesses who gave evidence, in particular three of Ben Blakeley’s former girlfriends, who showed immense courage in attending court to speak of his sick and twisted mind.
“From the day that Jayden’s life was so cruelly taken, the kindness shown to us by the people of Didcot has been immeasurable. For this, we will always be thankful from the bottom of our hearts.”
Taking over reading the statement from his tearful daughter, Mr Shrewsbury added: “We will never be able to find an ounce of forgiveness for the evil that murdered Jayden and then concealed her body in such a cold, calculated and callous manner.
“For us as a family, today is not the final chapter in this tragedy. But now we can at least begin the challenge of coming to terms with the heartbreak which we all feel, and the rebuilding of our lives.
“Despite today’s sentencing of Ben Blakeley, our nightmare will never end.
“We can never erase from our minds the pain that was inflicted on Jayden, nor can we erase the image of Jayden’s battered and bruised body.
“We will never be able to celebrate birthdays, Easter or Christmas with Jayden, and we will never get to see Jayden grow up, get married and have children – this is our life sentence, it’s now time for Ben Blakeley to start his.”
In a victim impact statement read out in court by prosecutor Matthew Walsh, Miss Shrewsbury revealed she still writes to her daughter every day in a diary.
She said: “When I visit Jayden’s grave it breaks my heart not to be able to hold her safe in my arms, take her home with me and tell her how so very much I love her.
“The evil person who took Jayden’s life continues to draw breath and enjoy three meals a day and has a life before him, yet Jayden has had hers taken away.”
Mr Walsh revealed that Blakeley, formerly of Christchurch Road, Reading, has 15 previous convictions for 23 offences, including battery, criminal damage and possessing an imitation firearm.
In mitigation his barrister Richard Benson QC said his client had not intended to kill Jayden and had occasionally been kind to her during their relationship.
The jury could not reach a verdict with regards to Jake Blakeley, 17, of Venners Water, Didcot, who denies preventing a lawful burial.
The Crown Prosecution Service now has seven days to decide whether to hold a retrial.
'Blakeley never showed any remorse'
Det Chief Supt Chris Ward
Speaking after the sentence was passed, Det Ch Supt Chris Ward, head of Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime team, said: “Jayden was a teenager when she became involved in a relationship with Blakeley, who has proved to be a violent and dangerous liar.
“Ben mistreated Jayden, controlled her and often beat her, which eventually resulted in her murder last year.
- Listen: Det Supt Chris Ward condemns Blakeley
“Blakeley has never shown any remorse, nor has he co-operated with the police investigation. Instead, Ben chose to lie and has put Jayden’s family and friends through a harrowing trial, where they have been forced to listen to the details of his abuse of Jayden and other former girlfriends.
“Justice will now be served, as Ben faces a lengthy jail term.
“I would like to pay my respects to Jayden and to her family and friends, many of whom have had to give evidence during this trial. I hope that today’s conviction will allow them some closure and they can remember Jayden as the fun-loving young lady that she was.”
'He deserved a longer sentence'
JAYDEN Parkinson’s close friends reacted to Ben Blakeley’s sentence, saying he should have been imprisoned for the rest of his life instead of 20 years minimum.
Layla Smith who went to Didcot Girls’ School with Jayden, said: “He should have got more. I don’t think he should be allowed out because he’s an evil person.”
The 17-year-old said: “If I had my way he’d stay in there for life. He’s going to be in his 40s when he comes out, it’s not acceptable.
“Twenty years is a long time but I think he deserved longer.”
Beth Ray, also 17, added: “I don’t think he got long enough. He should have got life. If he can do that then he’s capable of handling prison. He’s scum and deserves all he gets.”
She said: “I am relieved though, for the justice for Jayden and the closure of it all.”
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT 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
6:30am Monday 30th March 2015
THIS year’s wet and windy OX5 Run was won by a woman for the first time after Sophie Carter took on the challenge for her son.
6:00am Monday 30th March 2015
TREES that were cut down to make way for the Westgate development are now changing lives in Blackbird Leys.
9:41pm Sunday 29th March 2015
BLENHEIM Palace seemingly appears in the first official trailer for the new James Bond film Spectre.
1:19pm Sunday 29th March 2015
DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited Abingdon this afternoon to launch the Liberal Democrats' campaign for the General Election.
12:58pm Sunday 29th March 2015
HUNDEREDS of people lined the gardens of Blenheim Palace on a wet and windy Sunday to cheer on the runners of today's OX5 Run.
12:14pm Sunday 29th March 2015
PEOPLE have been left with reduced electricity this afternoon after power problems hit Cumnor and Marcham.