Connor Tremble murder: I'm better off behind bars, killer told psychiatrist

Will Blencowe

Will Blencowe

First published in Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

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.

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