Life sentence for man who killed 7-year-old boy

A MAN said by a judge to have 'a morbid interest in young boys' was given a life sentence yesterday for murdering a seven-year-old.

The judge, Mr Justice Blofeld, recommended that Richard Blenkey, 33, should serve 20 years. Blenkey strangled Paul Pearson at Marske, Cleveland, on 14 August 1991. Blenkey, unemployed, of Saltburn, Cleveland, had previously denied murder but changed his plea to guilty before his trial at Teesside Crown Court was due to begin.

The judge told him he had committed 'a most appalling murder' and that Paul had suffered 'a terrifying experience' as he was strangled for sexual gratification.

The court was told that Paul was throttled with a length of garden twine in a chicken hut on Blenkey's allotment. He had to pass it while cycling along a footpath on returning home after playing with a friend at Saltburn.

Paul's tracksuit bottoms, underpants, shoes and socks were removed during the attack and there were signs he was victim of a sex act, said Stephen Williamson QC, for the prosecution.

His body and bicycle were found hidden in a nearby wooded gully the next day.

Barrie Stewart, for the defence, said a prolonged psychiatric examination had found Blenkey's mentality to be almost sub-normal, but there was no evidence of any mental illness. 'We are dealing with a pathetic, very immature young man of limited intelligence,' he said.

Mr Williamson said the Pearsons had moved to their new home at Marske just a fortnight before the murder and Paul had made friends with several children in the area.

One was a boy called Ian Ramsdale, whose parents had a plot on the same allotment as Blenkey and were friendly with him. As a result of this Paul became known to his eventual killer.

After first visiting the allotments with his mother, Julie, Paul got into the habit of going back to the area and once helped the Ramsdale family to pick peas on Blenkey's site.

Mr Williamson said that after killing Paul, Blenkey left his body in the shed and went to the Ramsdales' home where he was due to babysit. He returned later to dump the body in the gully.

He said that Blenkey's palm print was later discovered on the handlebars of Paul's bicycle. One of Paul's socks was found in Blenkey's shed and his underpants under straw on the floor.

Blenkey had denied the killing or even seeing Paul that day. However, fibres on Paul's body linked him to the attack and further evidence indicated the boy had been in the shed.

(Photograph omitted)

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
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

Commercial Litigation NQ+

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...

MANCHESTER - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION -

Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?