Jayden killer ‘tried to strangle ex’

 Jayden ParkinsonJayden Parkinson was found dead on 18 December last year

The man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend Jayden Parkinson repeatedly tried to strangle a previous girlfriend, a court has heard.

Ben Blakeley also threatened to “cut her up in the bath”, Oxford Crown Court heard.

The 22-year-old is accused of killing pregnant Jayden, 17, and burying her in his uncle’s grave in December last year.

Mr Blakeley, from Reading, has admitted manslaughter but denies murder.

The court heard that Katie Gale, 21, dated him from 2009 to 2012. She said the relationship started out “fine” but he would become violent when jealous and hit her “probably every other week”.

She said: “[He] punched me, kicked me in the head, bit my face. To teach me… he would cling onto my cheeks to leave marks.”

‘Stabbed cat’

When Miss Gale confronted him at his Didcot home he punched and kicked her in the head and back, before attempting to strangle her, she said.

She told the court: “I thought he was actually going to kill me.

“He squeezed so hard that the blood vessels in my face came to the surface. I felt like I was fainting.”

Jurors heard she went to hospital after the alleged attack and reported an assault to the police but did not make a formal complaint because she did not want to “get him into trouble”.

The court heard that after her cat went missing, Mr Blakeley told her he had stabbed it to death.

He kept a samurai sword, and a large knife with a curved blade in his Reading flat, she said.

Disturbed grave

Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, asked Miss Gale: “I ask you this question, not because I am being critical, but why did you put up with it?”

She replied: “Because I loved him.”

The relationship ended in October 2012 and by then he was seeing another woman who Mr Latham claims Mr Blakeley was also violent towards.

A 17-year-old boy from Didcot, who cannot be named, is also on trial.

He has admitted perverting the course of justice but denies preventing the lawful burial of Jayden.

The teenager’s body was found on 18 December in a disturbed grave at the cemetery in All Saints’ Church, Didcot, Oxfordshire, two weeks after she was reported missing.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died from pressure to the neck.

The trial continues.

Map: Locations around Didcot

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Jayden killer ‘tried to strangle ex’
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