'I relive Jayden's death in my dreams,' Blakeley tells court

Jury, judge and barristers were joined by police and journalists to visit the area of Jayden Parkinson’s final minutes and death on land near Mowbray Road, Didcot

The bridge where jurors were told she died Site visit pictures: Damian Halliwell

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

BEN Blakeley told Oxford Crown Court yesterday he relives the night he killed Jayden Parkinson every day and in his dreams.

But he said he was not a “real killer” and didn’t even understand what the word callous meant, something the prosecutor accused him of being.

Under questioning from prosecutor Richard Latham, the 22-year-old recalled the night of December 3 when he killed his ex-girlfriend Jayden, 17.

Blakeley admits grabbing the teenager, from Didcot, around the neck on a footbridge over a stream south of the town, but denies being a “cold, ruthless and calculating” murderer, instead admitting manslaughter.

Mr Latham asked Blakeley: “Did you lose your temper or did you do it in cold blood?”

Blakeley said: “The first thing you said to me was that I’m a cold, callous killer.

“I think about that night every day, I see it in my dreams, man.

“To me that doesn’t make me cold or callous – I don’t even know what that means, I think it means smart and I’m not smart.

Oxford Mail:

  • Ben Blakeley

“I’m not a real killer, I have met them and I’m not like them.

“When I grabbed her it was no different from when I grabbed any other girl.”

Mr Latham also interrogated Blakeley as to why Jayden had bruises on her face.

Blakeley denied hitting Jayden, and said he could only explain that he had dropped her dead body twice while carrying her away from the site – despite the fact the trial already heard from a pathologist that bruises do not form once the heart has stopped beating.

Prosecutor Richard Latham said: “You regularly lose your temper with women don’t you? You get mad with them, you resort to physical violence.”

Blakeley replied: “Normally it just leaves a red mark or a bruise or something.

“I didn’t understand what had happened.”

Mr Latham responded: “You throttled the life out of her and you knew what you were doing at the time even if you were in a temper.”

Blakeley said: “I said ‘tell me’ twice, and it seemed like she stood backwards.”

Oxford Mail:

  • Jayden Parkinson

To help them understand the night Jayden died, yesterday morning the jury walked the route that Blakeley says he and Jayden walked together on December 3.

Starting at Mowbray Road, Didcot, they walked for an hour, first down a former railway line to the village of Upton, then across several fields to the wooden footbridge where Blakeley says he put his hands around Jayden’s throat during an argument.

Members of the jury were also shown the point in the stream, 200 yards from the bridge, where Blakeley said he first buried Jayden’s body two nights after killing her.

Asked why he moved her body from its first hiding place under some foliage by the bridge, Blakeley said: “I couldn’t handle that so I moved her.”

He said: “I didn’t want her to be there when I got back, but obviously she was.She was cold.”

Mr Latham put it to Blakeley that both times he buried Jayden’s body, first in the ditch then in his uncle Alan Kennedy’s grave in All Saints’ Church graveyard in Didcot, he did it to protect himself.

But Blakeley, who was living in Christchurch Road, Reading, at the time of his arrest, said: “There was less chance of Jayden being found where I first put her. She would have had water running over her for half the year, she wouldn’t have been found there.

“Buried in clay, no one would have found her.”

A 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admits perverting the course of justice in the case but denies preventing a lawful burial.

The trial continues.


 

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