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Jayden Parkinson trial: Forget sympathy for victim – judge
12:00pm Wednesday 16th July 2014 in East Lancashire
A JURY has been told to 'put out of their minds' any sympathy or compassion they have for a former Pendle schoolgirl, who died at the hands of her ex-boyfriend.
Judge Patrick Eccles QC told the panel of six men and six women that they must carefully assess the evidence against Ben Blakeley, 22, and his 17-year-old brother Jake before returning verdicts.
Ben Blakeley is accused of murdering 17-year-old Jayden Parkinson in the countryside on December 3 last year, 24 hours after she had told him she was expecting his child.
The former binman, of Christchurch Road, Reading, Berkshire, admits manslaughter and perverting the course of justice but denies her murder.
Jake, of Venners Water, Didcot, Oxfordshire, who was identified for the first time on Monday after the judge lifted a court order, also admits perverting the course of justice but denies preventing a lawful burial.
Oxford Crown Court has heard how, after strangling the teenager, Blakeley enlisted the help of his younger brother to bury her body in their uncle's grave at a cemetery in Didcot, Oxfordshire.
Summing up the case after three weeks of evidence, Judge Eccles told the jury they had to assess the evidence from each witness and decide whether they felt it was a truthful and reliable account.
“It is for you to make that decision, it is your responsibility,” the judge said.
“You must put out of your minds any sympathy or compassion you have for Jayden and her family and you must put out of your minds any sympathy to Ben Blakeley for the tough upbringing he had."
Earlier, Richard Benson QC, representing Ben Blakeley, told the jury in his closing speech that this was a “classic case of manslaughter.”
The trial was adjourned until today.