Jayden Parkinson trial: Man admits burying pregnant ex in uncle's grave

Jayden Parkinson

Jayden Parkinson

First published in News

A MAN has admitted that after killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend he buried her body in a field in Oxfordshire before moving her remains to his uncle's grave, a court has heard.

Ben Blakeley, 22, said he thought 17-year-old Jayden Parkinson was "joking" when her lifeless body fell to the ground as he strangled her in countryside near Didcot in December last year.

The former binman admits the manslaughter of Jayden but denies murdering her.

Blakeley told Oxford Crown Court that after strangling the teenager he moved her body to under a tree and covered it with a branch before going home.

He said he returned later to the scene with a youth - who cannot be identified for legal reasons - and dug a hole under the tree to bury Jayden's remains but insisted he told the youth they were burying weapons and not her body.

After hiding Jayden's body Blakeley told jurors he returned on his own days later to the field to dig up her remains and take them to the All Saints' churchyard in Didcot where he and the youth had dug into the grave of Alan Kennedy.

Asked why he did that, Blakeley replied: "I couldn't leave her there. I know it sounds sick and twisted. I don't know why I thought of it, somehow I thought it would...

"None of it seemed real, none of it seemed real. The whole thing didn't seem real.

"I know it seems sick and twisted but I thought it would makes thing better. I don't know what I was thinking."

Blakeley added: "I didn't want her in a field, I couldn't handle it."

Richard Benson QC, defending Blakeley, asked him: "What sort of place did you want her to be finally laid to rest?"

Blakeley replied: "A proper place."

Mr Benson asked: "Why your uncle's grave?"

He replied: "I don't know."

Blakeley told jurors that his co-defendant knew "nothing" about what he had done and although he had helped him dig both graves was not present when he twice buried Jayden's body - having sent him away on both occasions.

"I think he did ask me something. I think I said it was for my nan, I think. You would have to ask him what I said," Blakeley told the court. "I didn't tell anybody."

Breaking down in tears and covering his face with his hands, Blakeley said: "I can't explain it. You can't imagine what it's like.

"(The youth) was only 2ft away from her and he didn't know it. I should never have involved him, I know that. But he didn't know nothing at all, he didn't have a clue."

In the days after Jayden's death Blakeley was quizzed several times by police but did not confess.

Asked why, he replied: "I was too ashamed of what I had done."

The jury has been told that Blakeley was obsessive and controlling and after their split he had threatened to post intimate naked videos and photographs of Jayden on Facebook - hoping that she would kill herself as a result.

Jayden was last seen alive with Blakeley on the afternoon of December 3 last year in Didcot having met up to discuss her pregnancy.

When she had broken the news to Blakeley 24 hours' previously In a telephone call he became angry, denying he was the father, prosecutors allege.

On December 19 her body was recovered from the grave of Blakeley's uncle, Alan Kennedy, at All Saints' churchyard in Didcot. Mr Kennedy died in 2006.

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

But the prosecution refused to accept his plea and he has now gone on trial alongside the boy.

The youth has also pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice but denies a charge of preventing a lawful burial.

A post-mortem examination found that Jayden died as a result of pressure to the neck.

There was also evidence of "relatively widespread" areas of bruising to her face and scalp which was indicative of being caused by a fist or foot.

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