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  • 3 July 2014, 21:22

Jayden Accused 'Grabbed Teen By The Neck'

The former binman accused of murdering teenager Jayden Parkinson has described the moment his ex-girlfriend stopped breathing after he grabbed her around the neck.

Ben Blakeley, 22, told his trial at Oxford Crown Court that after the 17-year-old told him she was pregnant, he did not believe her.

Giving evidence for the first time, he told jurors he got two pregnancy tests from a discount store and arranged to meet up with Ms Parkinson the following day.

He said they went to some fields to the south of Didcot where they planned to have sex near a footbridge.

The pair had a dispute near the footbridge after Blakeley questioned Ms Parkinson about whether she had cheated on him with another man.

He told the court: "I said: 'What the f***' or something like that. That's when I grabbed her."

"I said you are definitely lying about that dude. She just let go, didn't answer and looked down.

"I grabbed her around the neck.

"Two hands. I didn't grab her that hard. I had grabbed her harder before."

Asked how long he held her, he replied: "Not long ... seconds."

"I let go of her. She fell backwards off the bridge on to the ground into the mud.

"She was making noises when she was on the floor."

During the evidence, Ms Parkinson's mother Erica Simms left the court crying.

Blakeley also broke down in tears. When he composed himself, he said: "I don't want people to see me crying."

He said he later held a mobile phone over Ms Parkinson's face to see if she was breathing, but she was not.

"I just sat there, I was upset, I was praying, I was f****** upset," he said.

Blakeley also told the court about his troubled childhood, during which he says he was regularly beaten by his father.

The court heard that he was taken into care at the age of 11, and that he would often run away from children's homes.

The jury has been told that Blakeley had an obsessive and controlling personality, and that after splitting up with Ms Parkinson he threatened to post intimate photos and videos on Facebook.

Blakeley conceded that he had made the threat, but said he would never have followed through with the act.

Describing their relationship, he said: "We had a laugh, smoked weed, drink and sniff, flirting.

"We would go to churches and pray. She would pray for stupid stuff like I wouldn't go bald.

"We just connected. We were perfect at times, we were f****** perfect. We were in love."

Ms Parkinson was last seen alive with Blakeley on December 3 last year in Didcot, Oxfordshire.

Blakeley, of Christchurch Road, Reading, in Berkshire, denies murdering the teen but admits her manslaughter and attempting to pervert the course of justice over the disposal of her body.

The prosecution has refused to accept his manslaughter plea and he has gone on trial alongside a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The youth has also pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice but denies a charge of preventing a lawful burial because he says he did not know he was helping bury Jayden's body.

Ms Parkinson's body was recovered from the grave of Blakeley's uncle, Alan Kennedy, at All Saints' churchyard in Didcot on December 19.

A post-mortem examination determined that Ms Parkinson died as a result of pressure to the neck.

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

The trial continues.

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