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Wednesday, June 24, 1998 Published at 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK


Jenkins 'panicked' when he found Billie-Jo

Billie-Jo Jenkins was found dead in February 1997

Sion Jenkins has told a court how he panicked when he found the body of his 13-year-old foster daughter Billie-Jo Jenkins.

Giving a third day of evidence to Lewes Crown Court, Jenkins, 40, said he was stunned by what he saw when his natural daughters Annie and Lottie screamed to him after finding Billie-Jo's body in the family home in Hastings, East Sussex.

[ image: Sion Jenkins said his head was spinning when he found Billie-Jo's body]
Sion Jenkins said his head was spinning when he found Billie-Jo's body
He went to call for an ambulance but the phone began ringing. Jenkins said he went to the phone and slammed it down before adjusting the tone to stop the ringing.

Jenkins said: "I didn't want to speak to anyone. I just panicked."

When prosecutor Camden Pratt, QC, asked how he had helped her, he said: "I went down to her and whispered to her gently, and I don't know what I did next."

Jenkins denies murdering Billie-Jo Jenkins with a metal tent spike on February 15, 1997.

'I didn't know what to do'

The prosecutor asked Jenkins why he had not immediately used the telephone close to Billie-Jo's body for call an ambulance, staying instead next to his daughters.

Jenkins said: "Because the girls were screaming and screeching and crying, and I wanted to be near them. I wasn't sure whether there was somebody else in the house and I didn't want to leave the girls. I didn't make a rational decision."

Jenkins told the court that he believed Billie-Jo was still alive when he found her.

He was asked why he had not put Billie-Jo in the recovery position, as requested by the emergency services.

Jenkins said: "I'm not even sure I knew what the recovery position was. When I saw Billie I was stunned and I didn't know what to do and I panicked."

Mr Pratt said: "There was no point in the recovery position because you knew Billie-Jo was dead."

Jenkins replied: "That's just wrong."

Asked if he was aware that Billie-Jo's death could not be an accident, Jenkins said: "To be sure, I don't know. I cannot be sure. My mind was spinning."

The case continues.

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