Man jailed after covering up for killer brother

Jake Blakeley has been jailed for three years Credit: Thames Valley Police

The brother of a killer who strangled his pregnant girlfriend to death was jailed for three years for covering his sibling's tracks - but will walk free in just three months.

A judge said Jake Blakeley showed "an almost incredible degree of stupidity and obtuseness" when he helped his older brother Ben conceal Jayden Parkinson's body without knowing what he was doing.

Judge Patrick Eccles jailed Jake, aged 18 years, for three years after he lied to police and helped his brother during the hunt for Jayden in December 2013.

However, as he has already spent 15 months behind bars and will only serve half his sentence, he will be freed from prison just three months from now.

Jayden's mother, Samantha Shrewsbury and other family members stormed out of the court as it was claimed Jake was sorry for what he had done.

Jayden, aged 17 years, was strangled to death by boyfriend Ben after she told him she was pregnant, in December 2013.

A jury was previously told the brothers dug two holes - one in a field and the second in their uncle Alan Kennedy's grave in All Saints' Church, Didcot, Oxon. - with Ben moving the teenager's body between the two.

Last year Ben Blakeley, aged 23 years, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 20 years for murder, but Jake Blakeley maintained he never knew they were burying a body, telling the court he thought he was helping his brother conceal weapons and then a dead dog and cat.

Jake was cleared of preventing a lawful burial after two juries failed to reach a verdict on the charge.

He had already admitted perverting the course of justice, for which he was sentenced.

Sentencing, Judge Eccles said: "You were guilty of an almost incredible degree of stupidity and obtuseness in helping your brother Ben Blakeley conceal her body without realising what you were doing."

In a victim impact statement read to Oxford Crown Court, Jayden's mother said the sight of Jake smiling and "rubbing his hands together as if he had won a prize" after being cleared of the lawful burial charge, convinced the family he was not sorry for what happened.

In a statement read by prosecutor Matthew Walsh, she said: "Nothing will ever convince my family and I that he has any remorse other than for himself.

"I and my family do not believe justice has been done for Jayden and will never ever find any form of forgiveness for the Blakeley brothers and they horror they have inflicted upon Jayden and our family."

After Ben killed Jayden, she was buried in a grave dug by the brothers in a remote field south of Didcot on December 4, the day after her death.

On December 8 they dug up the grave in Didcot and Ben, who lived in Reading, Berks., transported her body to the churchyard in a suitcase.

Jake Blakeley, of Venners Water, Didcot, previously told the court he knew Ben had "done something really bad" and did not tell police and admitted he should have told officers about the holes the brothers dug sooner.

It was not until his first court appearance, in December 2013, that he passed a note to police telling them where to find Jayden's body, which was uncovered on December 18. Jake later showed officers where the first burial site was.

Judge Eccles slammed him for not telling police what he knew sooner.

Jake helped Ben hide "something" in the grave, lied to police about knowing where his brother was, told his sibling he was a wanted man and got him new clothes so he could discard those he was wearing when he murdered Jayden.

The judge said Jake claimed not to know what was going on and yet "knew police were looking for him and that he was a violent criminal".

Jayden Parkinson was murdered by Jake Blakeley's brother Ben Credit: Thames Valley Police

"You delayed his arrest and as a result you prolonged the agony of Jayden's family," said Judge Eccles.

"Your actions were dictated by your brother Ben Blakeley, who had a cruel and malign influence over you."

The judge accepted Jake wanted to help police when he revealed the location of Jayden's body on December 17, but added: "You were aware before that date that Jayden Parkinson was probably buried in the churchyard and you gave different accounts of when you became aware at your two trials."

As Martin Steen began his mitigation, Jayden's mother and other family members stormed out of the court.

Mr Steen said Jake was "truly sorry" for what happened and that he had liked Jayden.

In a statement written by Jake and read to the court by Mr Steen, he said: "What happened should never have happened and if I had known what was really going on I would have done everything I could have done to prevent it."

Mr Steen said Jake Blakeley had found himself "under the spell and under the influence" of Ben, who could make him do whatever he wanted.

Mr Steen also revealed Jake had received death threats in HMP Bullingdon because of what his brother did.

"He will never live down the fact that he is Ben Blakeley's brother," said Mr Steen.

Blakeley, who was 17 at the time of the murder, was sentenced to three years in a young offenders' institute, half of which will be in custody and the rest on licence.

Speaking outside court, Ms Shrewsbury said the family took a "meagre measure of comfort" from the two hung juries who could not decide on the lawful burial charge.

Holding back tears, she said: "Time will never erase the evil that took Jayden from us.

"We can never forget or forgive the Blakeley brothers.

"Our nightmare will never end."

Detective Inspector Craig Kirby paid tribute to Jayden's family, saying they had shown "immense strength" throughout the investigation and trials.

He added: "Even unwittingly Jake Blakeley assisted his brother Ben to conceal Jayden's body after she was murdered, assistance which in the words of His Honour Judge Eccles, 'prolonged the agony of Jayden's family'.

"I believe today's sentence reflects the severity of this."