Jenkins loses appeal against Billie-Jo conviction

SION JENKINS, the former deputy headteacher jailed for life last year for the murder of his teenage foster daughter, Billie-Jo, lost his appeal against conviction yesterday.

The Court of Appeal, in London, upheld a jury's verdict in July 1998 that Jenkins, 41, battered the girl to death with a metal tent spike in the garden of the family home in Hastings, East Sussex. After the judgment, Anthony Scrivener QC, representing Jenkins, applied for leave to appeal to the House of Lords. His application will be heard in the Court of Appeal in January.

Thirteen-year-old Billie-Jo was painting the patio doors at the rear of the family's home when she was murdered on 15 February 1997. Tiny droplets of blood found on Jenkins's clothing were the crucial evidence in the trial.

The prosecution told Mr Justice Gage and the jury at Lewes Crown Court that the 150 microscopic blood spots, which were identical to Billie-Jo's blood, could only have got on to Jenkins's shoes, trousers and jacket when he attacked her. The prosecution said the girl would not have been alive 15 minutes later, when her foster father said he found her, and that a dying person's breath would not have produced that kind of spotting.

Five grounds of appeal were rejected yesterday, including fresh evidence from David Denison, a physiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. Professor Denison had done experiments to show that the specks of blood could have landed on Jenkins's clothing as Billie-Jo exhaled air mixed with blood through her nose when he tended to her as she lay dying.

The three judges at the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Kennedy, Mr Justice Dyson and Mr Justice Penry-Davey, concluded that Professor Denison's theory did not fit the facts of the case. They wrote in their judgment: "The appellant was the last known adult to see the deceased alive, and the first known adult to see her dead. His clothing was found upon examination to be spattered with blood in a way which was consistent with him being her attacker. The clothing of others who went to the aid of the deceased was not similarly spattered."

Billy-Jo had lived with Jenkins, his wife, Lois, and their four natural daughters, as a foster child since 1992. It was expected that in due course they would adopt her. On the afternoon of her death, Jenkins had been with his two eldest daughters, aged 10 and 12. Both girls were questioned by the police about the day's events. The three judges rejected Mr Scrivener's appeal that the police embarked on a deliberate campaign to influence the children and taint their evidence.

The judges noted that in the initial stages of the police inquiry, Jenkins "repeatedly failed to reveal that he had been into his house about 15 minutes before the body was discovered", returning between two journeys. Moreover, they queried Jenkins's explanation for the quarter-hour after this visit. He said he had gone to buy white spirit, but found at the shop that he had no money and had to turn back; white spirit was later found at the house.

The judges said the explanation was "unusual in that he went without money by a circuitous route to buy an item that he did not need".

William Jenkins, Billie-Jo's natural father, said outside the court yesterday: "I think that Sion Jenkins has got the justice that he wanted. I hope he didn't expect anything else from this court or any other court in the land. You can't buy justice - not in this court."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Web Developer

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a Web Developer looking...

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015