`Easy access' to Billie-Jo's back garden

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The Independent Online
IT WOULD be easy to gain access to the rear of the family home where 13-year-old Billie-Jo Jenkins was found battered to death, a court was told yesterday.

Sion Jenkins, 40, denies murdering his foster daughter Billie-Jo, whose body was found on the patio at the back of their home in Hastings, East Sussex, in February last year.

The prosecution alleges that Mr Jenkins battered her as she painted the patio doors, and then took his daughters Lottie and Annie on a bogus trip to buy white spirit before returning to the house and "finding" the body.

Investigator Nicholas Hillman told the jury at Lewes Crown Court yesterday he and an assistant had examined the area at the rear of the house.

It would be easy to gain access to the back garden from next door and through wasteland at the back, he said.

Earlier Professor Michael Trimble, a professor of neurology, who has written a book about post traumatic disorder, was asked about the effect of shock.

Mr Jenkins had been questioned when he was testifying about why he had not followed instructions from the ambulance operator during a 999 call and put Billie-Jo into the recovery position. He denied having not done so because he knew she was already dead.

Professor Trimble told the jury that in shock, a person's concentration and the ability to plan effectively fell apart.

"I think people in shock very often fail to act properly on instructions and often ignore instructions because they don't take them in properly or their mind is deployed to doing something else which they consider, irrationally or rationally, to be the thing to do," he said.

Camden Pratt QC, prosecuting, said it was common for someone who has committed a violent crime to claim, and may be have, amnesia at the moment of the crime.

Professor Trimble said: "They do not remember the crime."

Mr Pratt said: "They do not remember the crime ... and just have a blank as to the existence of that person being there at all."

The professor said: "Or they themselves being there at all."

The trial was adjourned until Monday.