A MAN accused of murdering former Pendle schoolgirl Jayden Parkinson has told jurors he ‘didn’t mean to hurt’ her.

Ben Blakeley, 22, said he did not intend to kill 17-year-old Jayden or cause her ‘really serious bodily harm’.

Giving evidence for the first time during his trial at Oxford Crown Court, the former binman told jurors: “I didn’t mean to hurt Jayden. I thought she was joking.”

Blakeley, of Christchurch Road, Reading, Berkshire, has denied murdering Jayden but has admitted her manslaughter and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Before Blakeley started giving his evidence, he asked for the suitcase in which he transported Jayden's body to All Saints’ graveyard to be removed from in front of the witness box.

He told the court about the violent abuse he used to suffer at the hands of his father.

Jayden lived with her father, Paul, for a year while in Pendle and also attended Primet High School, in Colne.

The trial continues.