Cat killer says confession to man’s murder was ‘made up’, court hears

A woman accused of being obsessed with violence and death has denied murdering a man and said an alleged confession to the killing was lies, a court heard.

Scarlet Blake, 26, is accused of targeting Jorge Martin Carreno, 30, as he walked home from a night out in Oxford in July 2021.

His body was found in the River Cherwell at Parsons Pleasure having drowned after receiving a blow to the back of his head and being strangled.

Later, Blake is said to have confessed to her then partner Ashlynn Bell that she had murdered Mr Carreno, Oxford Crown Court heard.

The defendant told jurors she had made up the details of killing Mr Carreno because Miss Bell wanted her to kill someone after making her live-stream the killing of a cat.

Jorge Martin Carreno was allegedly murdered by Scarlet Blake in July 2021 (family handout/Thames Valley Police/PA)
Jorge Martin Carreno, pictured, was allegedly murdered by Scarlet Blake as he walked home from a night out in Oxford in July 2021 (Family Handout/PA)

Prosecutors allege the killing is relevant to the murder trial as it shows she has a “disturbing interest in what it would be like to harm a living creature”.

Jurors heard Blake explain that having killed the cat, Miss Bell wanted her to kill a person.

“I wasn’t interested or willing – it was an awful thought to me,” she said.

“In the interest of keeping her happy, because I wanted her to kill me one day, because it’s sexually stimulating for me, that idea.

“She was wanting to make me do this thing and I was pretty much… well at a limit after going through the killing of the cat.”

Blake, who is transgender, said she had seen news reports of the discovery of Mr Carreno’s body and created a fictious story.

“I told Ashlynn that I killed that person, I made up the details in a dramatic way,” she said.

“I told her I used a garotte that I made to try and remove the person’s head but it was more difficult than I would have imagined and then I dumped the body in the river which is what they are now pulling out.

Blake said Miss Bell was in “disbelief” when she told her and did not believe her.

“At the beginning she was saying that I was lying and trying to deceive her,” Blake said.

“But at the point where she saw the CCTV image of me in the jacket, she seemed to become very convinced, I guess.

“She was quite obsessive over how apparently, I killed someone for her, and how now she’s dating a murderer. She seemed to enjoy it.”

Earlier, Blake told jurors she had found Mr Carreno sat down in the city centre having gone for a late night walk to clear her head and walked with him to Parsons Pleasure – leaving him there alive to go home.

She denied the suggestion she was looking for a “victim” that night, telling the jury: “I have not much (to say), other than a complete refusal of that suggestion, I was outside looking to clear my head, I was drinking a little bit, I was not looking for a victim.”

Blake denied the suggestion she had hit Mr Carreno to the back of the head with a bottle of vodka she had in her bag.

“I am pretty sure I did not do that. I am very confident that did not happen,” she said.

“I don’t know how he died. I assumed he drowned. It wasn’t something I did. As to how, I still don’t know, I wasn’t there.”

Alison Morgan KC, cross-examining Blake, suggested on the night Mr Carreno died she had a “murder kit” in her rucksack, including a garrotte and dressing gown cord.

Blake replied: “I did not have a murder kit.”

The defendant said when she left Mr Carreno at the riverbank he was still alive.

Ms Morgan, prosecuting, asked the defendant: “What actually happened is that you struck him on the back of the head and then you put your hands up around his throat in the way you had done so many times before…”

Blake replied: “I did not do that.”

Ms Morgan: “And then you put his body in the river, didn’t you?”

Blake replied: “I did not do that either.”

Ms Morgan asked: “You knew he died, and you left him there, didn’t you?”

She replied: “I found out he died afterwards through the news, I left him alive.”

The prosecutor asked: “It was his misfortune he ended up there with you, someone who had strangled people hundreds of times before, but it was your good fortune wasn’t it?

“These events provided you with an opportunity, didn’t they? The opportunity to tell Miss Bell that you killed someone?”

Blake replied: “In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think it really matters. That relationship was always going to go to her trying to figure where my limit is and make that as an excuse to hurt me in the ways I didn’t want.

“I was vulnerable to her in some parts I welcome but not all of it. In the end she wanted to hurt me in the way I don’t want to be hurt.”

Blake, of Crotch Crescent, Oxford, denies murder.

The trial continues.

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