1. ITV Report

Family pay tribute to tragic mum-to-be as man is sentenced for stabbing her to death with screwdriver

Her family paid tribute to Ella Parker Credit: Thames Valley Police

The family of a pregnant woman stabbed to death with a screwdriver in Milton Keynes have paid tribute to her as a man was sentenced for her manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

Ella Parker was found dead at a house in New Bradwell last December.

Ryan Blacknell, aged 25, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to the offence on 23 April at Luton Crown Court, which was accepted by the prosecution. He was acquitted of an alternative charge of murder.

Ella's family said she had been full of life and ready for her life as a mum.

"Ella could put a smile on anyone's face, she was someone who you naturally drawn to as she was such a unique blend of kindness, warmth and humour. She was a bright light in the community and loved by many of all ages. She was full of life and ready for her next chapter as a mother.

"Now, she won't be able to grow old with her family and her little boy won't get a chance at life at all. Ella, a friend, cousin, sister, niece and mother to be. You will always be in our hearts and thoughts and we miss you dearly.

– Ella's family

Blacknell's been sentenced to a hospital order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act with a restriction order under Section 41 of Mental Health Act.

At around 2.40pm on 7 December last year paramedics were called to a property in Newport Road, New Bradwell.

The body of 29-year-old Ella Parker was found inside with stab wounds and she was confirmed dead at the scene.

Blacknell was arrested the following day and was re-arrested and charged on 12 December.

A Home Office Post-Mortem examination established the cause of death to be as a result of puncture wounds to the neck caused by a screwdriver.

Ella’s next of kin have been supported by specially-trained family liaison officers.

Police said it was particularly tragic as Ella had been rebuilding her life after losing her parents and grandparents.

The conclusion of this investigation will not in any way help with the grieving process but I do hope that it will enable the family to start the rebuilding their lives again. I wish to pay tribute to the family and all those who have assisted the investigation over the weeks and months since December last year - their courage and dignity has been incredible.”

– Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Stuart Blaik, of the Major Crime unit

The Crown Prosecution Service said the court had accepted Blacknell's plea of manslaughter by diminished responsibility because there was evidence he was suffering from an abnormality of mind that substantially impaired his responsibility for his actions.