Billie-Jo's foster father loses murder appeal

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Sion Jenkins, the former deputy headmaster jailed for life last year for the brutal murder of his teenage foster daughter Billie-Jo, lost his appeal against conviction today.

Sion Jenkins, the former deputy headmaster jailed for life last year for the brutal murder of his teenage foster daughter Billie-Jo, lost his appeal against conviction today.

The Court of Appeal in London upheld a jury's verdict that it was Jenkins, 41, who bludgeoned the 13-year-old to death with a metal tent spike as she was painting patio doors at the rear of the family's home in Lower Park Road, Hastings, East Sussex.

Mr Justice Gage and the Lewes Crown Court jury had heard that about 150 microscopic blood spots found on his clothing could only have resulted from Jenkins being close to the girl as she was being struck.

Crown experts said Billie-Jo must have died during the brutal attack and would not have still been alive 15 minutes later, when Jenkins claimed to have "discovered" her body after returning from a shopping trip with two of his four natural daughters.

His appeal hinged on fresh evidence of tests said to show that the blood spots could have come from the dying teenager's breath as he crouched over her.

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