Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously in this campaign, which started on 2nd May 2021, I have remembered 78 women, the last being (removed after a family request), who lived just outside Salford near Manchester.
Today I remember Sian Blake, an actress who appeared in BBC TV's Eastenders and the TV programmes Casualty, The Bill and Skins.
Sadly, Sian, who was just 44 when she was killed, learnt that she was terminally ill and decided she was going to leave her partner Arthur Simpson-Kent, a cannabis dealer. It is unknown exactly when Sian died, but it is believed to be on the 14th or 15th December 2015.
Nor is it exactly known why Simpson-Kent killed Sian or their two children, who were just four and eight years old. After their murder, he wrapped their bodies in plastic and buried them in his garden before fleeing the country.
He was returned to the UK to stand trial and in October 2016 it began at the Old Bailey. The court heard that Simpson-Kent had told Dr Philip Joseph, a psychiatrist:
“Something just snapped in me. I felt as if I had just been pushed off a diving board and was falling. I grabbed hold of a small axe that was kept on a ledge in the kitchen. Sian’s head was bent low down, and she was bent over looking at the floor. I approached her from the side and hit her at the back of the head as hard as I could. She fell unconscious at the first blow. After that, I hit her repeatedly on the head. My mind was blank, and I was focusing on doing and not thinking. It was like I was there but not there.”
Sentencing him, Mr Justice Singh said:
“I have been left in no doubt that this is one of those exceptional and rare cases where the requirements of punishment mean that a whole life order must be imposed, even after taking into account the mitigating factors. The manner in which the defendant killed his victims in this case was truly horrific".
"Although the murder weapons have never been found, the evidence, including the pathology evidence, is consistent with his having killed each of his victims in turn - first, Sian and then each of the boys. It is consistent with his doing so with repeated blows with a blunt instrument, using severe force, and then by using a bladed weapon. He sought to lay a false trail by using Sian Blake’s mobile phone. He lied to the police and others about the whereabouts of the family.”
Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph