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Jenkins returns to the home where Billie-Jo died.

Sion jenkins, the former deputy head teacher accused of murdering his teenage foster daughter, Billie-Jo Jenkins, returned yesterday to the house in Hastings, East Sussex, where he is alleged to have bludgeoned her to death with a tent peg.

Accompanied by his legal team, Jenkins, of Aberystwyth, spent more than half-an-hour at 48 Lower Park Road, in what is thought to be his first visit to the family home since being charged with the murder of the 13-year-old more than eight years ago.

Billie-Jo was found lying face down in a pool of blood on the patio at the back of the house where she had been painting the doors. She had been bludgeoned with an 18-inch metal tent peg and died from severe head injuries.

The prosecution alleges that Jenkins murdered the girl after he lost his temper when he returned home from picking up one of his daughters from a music lesson. His retrial at the Old Bailey has heard that he then left the house in a hurry and made an aborted trip to a nearby DIY store to give himself an alibi.

Jenkins arrived at the red-brick Victorian house yesterday morning with his new wife, Christina Ferneyhough, an art dealer, who paced up and down outside while the visit took place. They left together in an unmarked police car.

The jury at his retrial at the Old Bailey were later shown around the home where Jenkins lived with his then wife Lois Jenkins, their four natural daughters and 13-year-old Billie-Jo.

During an hour-long visit, they were shown parts of the property, including the black-and red-tiled patio where the teenager was found and the wooden side-gate on to an alley at the side of the semi-detached house, through which, the defence will argue, an intruder could have entered.

The jury of six men and six women were accompanied by the judge, Mrs Justice Rafferty, and counsel for the defence and the prosecution, who also pointed out part of the garden where several tent pegs were left during a clear- out on the day of the killing.

The group walked through Alexandra Park, opposite the house, to a bench around 10 minutes away where a mentally ill man, known as Mr B, was seen by several witnesses on the day of the killing.

They then boarded their coach and drove around the park to replicate the journey Jenkins made on the day.

The court has heard that he came rushing down the steps of the house 'with a peculiar look on his face' and told his daughters, Annie, then 12, and Lottie, then 10, to get into the car.

He drove twice around the park before saying he needed to go to Do-It-All for some white spirit. Realising he had no money, they returned home and found Billie-Jo's body.

The new owner of the five-bedroom house, who bought it in October last year, was at home during the visit. He is thought to be the second owner since Billie-Jo's murder.

Jenkins, 47, from Aberystwyth, denies murder.

The trial continues.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 7, 2005
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