MURDERER Will Blencowe told a psychiatrist in prison he was better off behind bars, the jury was told during the trial.
And during the case, details of the killer’s mental health problems throughout his life were revealed.
The 21-year-old, who grew up in Shipton-under-Wychwood, spoke of self-harming more than 200 times by punching walls, burning his arms with cigarettes and smashing his head into mirrors.
He also described four suicide attempts, the first of which was when he was just 13 years old.
Blencowe’s mother Karen Lord, who lives in Chipping Norton, gave evidence and described trying to cope with her son’s behaviour when he was growing up.
She told the jury two days before he murdered Connor her son was left “in despair” after receiving a letter from the Oxfordshire complex needs team telling him he would not be getting the mental health treatment he wanted.
Blencowe – who has convictions for arson, battery, possession of cannabis, affray, criminal damage and common assault – went to primary school in Clanfield, where he met Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron and wanted to be a politician, his mother said.
Miss Lord told the jury her son is dyslexic and dyspraxic and, despite being intelligent, struggled from a very early age. Blencowe told the jury even at primary school he would suffer from anxiety and paranoia, thinking insects were crawling all over his body.
He said: “I didn't want to go to school, I just wanted to go home with my mum.
“I would just get so wound up I would start crying. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t do any of it. I couldn’t be around other people.
“Since I was primary school age I knew there was something wrong. I knew that I was different.”
Blencowe went to Burford Junior School, where he met Zak Perry and other witnesses who gave evidence during his trial.
His mum said he “tried to mask” his mental health problems in front of his peer group, but at home he had become obsessed with locking doors and closing windows and curtains.
Blencowe told the psychiatrist in prison after his arrest that he was obsessed with keeping locks and latches shut, would only sleep with the light on, and had a fixation with the number 12, which he thought was following him throughout his life.
Dr Michael Orr, giving evidence, said Blencowe had told him he felt better in prison, adding: “He felt safe there and he had everything done for him. He told me it was better than life outside.”
Before year nine, when he was about 13, Blencowe’s mother moved him to Chipping Norton School – but after a year he was expelled for setting fire to paper in the toilets.
He was given a five-month referral order by Oxford Magistrates’ Court and started learning at a pupil referral centre for youngsters who had to leave mainstream education.
When he was 18 he attended horticultural college and was living in Chipping Norton after leaving home, but dropped out of the course when he found even the younger students coped far better with it than he could.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Our top stories
8:30am Monday 5th October 2015
A FAMILY stole thousands of pounds of benefits from a man with severe learning disabilities while forcing him to do menial and manual labour for £5 a day, a court heard.
7:00am Monday 5th October 2015
GREY pavements will be transformed with striking street art as one woman hopes to chalk up yet another successful art event this weekend.
4:01pm Sunday 4th October 2015
TRAFFIC is heavy on the A34 between the Wendlebury interchange and Pear Tree Roundabout after an earlier crash.
8:30am Saturday 3rd October 2015
A YOUNG woman who fell in the river after a seizure on her way to work has thanked two boaters for saving her life.
12:26pm Saturday 3rd October 2015
An e-fit has been released today of a man police want to speak to after two children were sexually assaulted in Harwell.
11:45am Saturday 3rd October 2015
A woman was taken to hospital after a car and lorry crashed on the Eastern Bypass.