A TEENAGER who helped bury the body of former Colne schoolgirl Jayden Parkinson has told a court that even after he was arrested for murder, he did not realise what he had done.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admits unknowingly aiding Ben Blakeley in hiding his ex-girlfriend’s body in a ditch near Didcot, Oxfordshire, in December last year.
Giving evidence in Oxford Crown Court, the accused described himself as ‘just a stupid kid’ who should have asked more questions.
Miss Parkinson, 17, who attended Colne’s Primet High School, was found dead in a disturbed grave after a huge search operation by the National Crime Agency.
Cross-examined by prosecutor Richard Latham QC, the teenager said he didn’t ask the 22-year-old Blakeley what they were doing because he was afraid of him.
He said: “I never asked questions of Ben, because it would have just ended up bad for me.
“That’s just how it was with him and me.”
Mr Latham asked him about his arrest on suspicion of murder when police officers told him Blakeley was also a suspect.
The barrister said: “When (a police officer) told you everyone was looking for Jayden, given what you knew about where (Blakeley) had been and what he had been doing, did you not put two and two together?”
The defendant said: “No I didn’t.”
Mr Latham asked why he didn’t question Blakeley’s explanation of needing to bury a dog and a cat in an existing grave in a cemetery next to All Saint’s Church overnight on December 8.
He told the witness: “What I’m suggesting is you didn’t need to ask because you knew exactly what was going on.”
With tears in his eyes the teenager replied: “I didn’t know what was going on, I wouldn’t have allowed it to happen.”
At this point members of Miss Parkinson’s family became emotional and left the court room. Her dad, Paul Parkinson, of Manchester Road, Nelson, died of a heart attack last month.
The defendant was also questioned about December 5, when it is alleged he helped bury Miss Parkinson for the first time in a ditch near Upton, Oxfordshire.
The teenager admits perverting the course of justice but denies preventing a lawful burial. Blakeley admits manslaughter and perverting the course of justice but denies murder.
The trial continues.