Connor Tremble murder: Blencowe convicted of carefully-planned killing

Will Blencowe

Will Blencowe

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

CONNOR Tremble’s family simply said “we have got justice” after Will Blencowe was convicted of the 17-year-old’s murder.

In an emotional statement made outside Oxford Crown Court yesterday, the teenager’s mum Lisa, who was supported by Connor’s dad Martin Smith, said her son was shown “no mercy” by his killer.

It took a jury about six hours to find the 21-year-old unanimously guilty of Connor’s murder after a 13-day trial.

Connor was stabbed 15 times on February 13 in what the prosecution said was a carefully planned killing, motivated by jealousy because Connor was seeing Blencowe’s ex-girlfriend Aimee Harrison.

As the verdict was read out there were cries and tears of relief from Connor’s family and friends, while Blencowe sat in the dock and showed no emotion.

During the trial prosecutor Richard Barton accused him of trying to humiliate his younger “love rival” by stabbing him six times in the buttocks.

Yesterday, Mr Barton told Judge Patrick Eccles the starting point for a murder where a weapon was brought to the scene is 25 years in prison. 

Connor died of complications at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital two days after he was stabbed. 

In a victim impact statement that she read out in court, Lisa Tremble said deciding to switch off her son’s life-support machine was the hardest thing she has ever done. 

She said: “In the end I couldn’t do it, I just broke down and lay on him crying uncontrollably.” 

Miss Tremble added that since her son was murdered she had suffered sleepless nights and feels that her own life is in danger. 

Will Blencowe being interviewed by police about the death of Connor Tremble

She said: “My heart is broken and I will always miss him. 

“The devastation that was caused will never go away. I just wish I could have one more day with him.” 

Connor, who has two brothers and two sisters, was attacked in his flat in Fairacres Road, Oxford, and suffered wounds to his chest, stomach, arms, back and buttocks. 

It emerged during the trial that Blencowe did not even know his victim, only having briefly met him once, and had to ask a mutual friend where he lived. 

He took a taxi to the scene of the murder and was described by witnesses as appearing “calm” and “happy” afterwards. 

Blencowe also allegedly told a friend after the murder the only thing he regretted was “not watching Connor bleed to death”. 

His two co-defendants Bradley Jones and Grant Clemens, who were accused of helping him escape justice, were both cleared of perverting the course of justice. 

After the murder Blencowe changed his clothes and got a lift to Stratford-upon-Avon, where he was arrested the following day. 

The jury heard how when he was taken into custody he “giggled” when he was told it was on suspicion of attempted murder. 

During the trial Blencowe claimed he was not responsible for his actions when he killed the teenager because he was suffering from a mental disorder, and Connor came at him with a knife. 

But by its verdict the jury determined he either intended to kill his victim or cause him really serious injury. 

Defence barrister Adrian Amer said: “I ask your honour before you pass sentence tomorrow please remember that Will Blencowe has suffered significant mental health problems in his life.” 

Judge Eccles said he would sentence Blencowe this morning.

Timeline

  • September 2013: Will Blencowe and Aimee Harrison break up after four years together. 
  • February 13, 2014: Will Blencowe leaves his home in Oxford Road, Banbury, withdraws £100 in cash and takes the train to Oxford. He takes a taxi from the station to Connor’s flat in Fairacres Road at about 6.30pm and stabs the 17-year-old 15 times. He then gets back into the taxi and asks the driver to take him to Witney, to meet his mother Karen Lord, who drives him to meet his best friend Bradley Jones. At about 9.30pm, Blencowe and Jones arrive at Grant Clemens’s house in Moreton-in-Marsh,  before Blencowe gets a lift to Stratford-upon-Avon. There he checks into the Linhill Guest House under the name Shane Williams. 
  • February 14: Blencowe is arrested at the guest house on suspicion of attempted murder. 
  • February 15: Bradley Jones is arrested just after midnight. He is then released without charge. 
  • Connor Tremble dies at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. Blencowe is questioned again, this time on suspicion of murder. 
  • February 19: Grant Clemens is arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. 
  • February 20: Bradley Jones is arrested again on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. 
  • August 11: Will Blencowe pleads not guilty to a charge of murdering Connor Tremble and all three men go on trial at Oxford Crown Court.
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