Man jailed for murder of Jayden Parkinson - Didcot

25/07/2014

A man appeared at Oxford Crown Court today, Friday, 25 July 2014, and was jailed for life and to serve a minimum of 20 years, after being found guilty of the murder of 17-year-old Jayden Parkinson.

Ben Blakeley, aged 22, of Christchurch Road, Reading, was found guilty of the murder yesterday, Thursday, 24 July 2014, at Oxford Crown Court.

Blakeley was also sentenced to eight years imprisonment for perverting the course of justice, which will run concurrently.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved the tragic murder of 17-year-old Jayden Parkinson by her former boyfriend Ben Blakeley.

"Yesterday, despite his denials about having any intention of killing her, the jury found Ben Blakeley guilty of Jayden's callous and violent murder. During the trial the jury heard that he was extremely controlling, abusive and violent towards his girlfriends including Jayden. His motivation for killing Jayden remains unknown, but may have been his reaction to the news that she was pregnant.

"Ben Blakeley killed Jayden in remote countryside outside Didcot. He concealed her body at this location for several days before moving it in a suitcase to the grave of a family member. There, he dug up the grave and buried Jayden's body in it.

"Ben Blakeley is undoubtedly an extremely ruthless, violent and dangerous man and Jayden must have been very afraid in those final moments. As soon as he had killed Jayden, he began telling lies to the police aimed at covering up the murder. Prior to the trial he admitted doing acts intended to pervert the course of public justice.

"This was a very complex investigation, which started off as a missing person enquiry. We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved.

"This case is a tragedy for Jayden's family and friends who have been devastated by her death; her father dying just before the trial started. I would like to pay tribute to them for their wholehearted support of this investigation and the dignity they displayed while hearing the horrific details surrounding Jayden's murder. I would also like to thank the witnesses, who gave evidence in very difficult circumstances.

"We know that nothing will bring Jayden back, but we hope that the conviction and today's sentence brings her family and friends at least a small sense that justice has been done. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time."

Speaking after the sentence, Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Ward from Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit said: "Ben Blakeley has today been sentenced to a minimum of 20 years after being found guilty of the brutal murder of 17-year-old Jayden Parkinson, on the 03 December last year.

"Jayden was a teenager when she became involved in a relationship with Blakeley, who has proved to be a violent and dangerous liar. Ben mistreated Jayden, controlled her and often beat her which eventually resulted in her murder last year.

"Blakeley has never shown any remorse, nor has he cooperated with the police investigation. Instead, Ben chose to lie and has put Jayden's family and friends through a harrowing trial, where they have been forced to listen to the details of his abuse of Jayden and other former girlfriends.

"Justice will now be served, as Ben faces a lengthy jail term.

"Of course, we respect the decision of the jury in respect of Jake Blakeley, who was charged with preventing a lawful burial. The Crown Prosecution Service has seven days to decide whether to apply for a re-trial.

"I would like to thank all the police officers and staff who have worked on this complex case, as well as the Crown Prosecution Service, who the Force has worked with very closely.

"Finally, I would like to pay my respects to Jayden and to her family and friends, many of whom who have had to give evidence during this trial. I hope that today's sentence will allow them some closure and they can remember Jayden as the fun-loving young lady that she was."