East Lancs teen Jayden Parkinson 'killed for being pregnant', court told
10:00am Tuesday 24th June 2014
10:00am Tuesday 24th June 2014
A MAN murdered his teenage ex-girlfriend after finding out she was pregnant with his child, a court heard.
Ben Blakeley, 22, killed 17-year-old Jayden Parkinson in countryside south of Didcot, Oxfordshire, on December 3 last year, Oxford Crown Court heard.
Blakeley was accused of being obsessive and controlling and regularly beat Jayden.
Her body was found in an established grave at All Saints' churchyard in Didcot, Oxfordshire, on December 18 last year, after she was last seen alive on December 3.
Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, told the jury of five men and seven women that Jayden had been living at the One Foot Forward hostel in Oxford when she disappeared.
She was captured on CCTV leaving the hostel - where she had been a resident for four weeks - at 3.31pm on December 3.
Mr Latham said that at 4.06pm Jayden was caught on CCTV at Oxford railway station with Blakeley.
At 4.27pm a security camera recorded the last known sighting of Jayden as she arrived at Didcot railway station with her ex-boyfriend.
Shortly after midnight, staff at One Foot Forward reported Jayden missing after she failed to return to the hostel.
Mr Latham said: "The prosecution case is that Jayden was killed by Ben Blakeley that same evening in open countryside south of Didcot - there is no dispute between prosecution and defence.
"We cannot be precise about location for this simple reason - unlike most killings the body was moved from where the offence occurred.
"There is only one person alive who knows the truth and we would invite you to be very sceptical about what he says or has said."
Blakeley, of Christchurch Road, Reading, Berkshire, has denied murdering the teenager but has admitted killing her and disposing of her body.
But the prosecution refused to accept his plea and he has now gone on trial alongside a 17-year-old boy.
The youth, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, pleaded guilty this morning to a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice. But he denied a charge of preventing a lawful burial between December 2 and December 10 last year.
Mr Latham said it was not disputed that Jayden died at the hands of Blakeley on December 3 - as he admits her manslaughter - but was denying her murder.
"Ben Blakeley and Jayden had been in a relationship for some time before her death," Mr Latham said.
"On any view it was difficult. We allege he was controlling, to an obsessive and excessive degree.
"He was violent and abusive to her and controlling and hitting her.
"The relationship seems to have come to an end around November 23 last year - so very shortly before her death."
Mr Latham told jurors that Jayden found the ending of the relationship difficult.
"She found it difficult to let go and hours before her death she left the hostel to meet him - it was the last time she was seen alive," the prosecutor said.
The jury heard that Blakeley had made 13 videos of Jayden and taken 30 pictures of her naked and she told staff at the hostel that he was threatening to put them on Facebook.
"Jayden was reporting real difficulties with violence and problems with the videos he had taken of her while they were having sex, of videos he had taken of her in sexual poses," Mr Latham said.
"He was threatening to put those images on Facebook.
"She also reported that she had been taken to a field by Blakeley in a car and they had slept there.
"He had taken her shoes and coat and suggested she was a slave for talking to other people.
"He was so controlling that he told her what to eat."
Mr Latham said various witnesses would describe seeing or hearing incidents of how Blakeley treated his girlfriend.
A neighbour of Blakeley in Reading recalled seeing Jayden with a black eye, describing her as a "quiet girl" who would not say "boo to a goose".
"Another witness describes seeing bruising to her neck," Mr Latham said.
Jayden also told someone at the hostel that Blakeley had kicked her in the head.
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