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Last Updated: Monday, 19 December 2005, 14:22 GMT
Jenkins admits slapping Billie-Jo
Billie-Jo Jenkins
Billie-Jo was found battered to death at the family home
A former deputy head teacher accused of murdering his foster daughter has admitted slapping her.

Sion Jenkins, 48, now of Lymington, Hampshire, told jurors of two incidents when he disciplined Billie-Jo. On one occasion he slapped her face.

When asked if he slapped her hard, he replied: "Not hard. I regretted it."

Mr Jenkins denies murdering the 13-year-old at their home in East Sussex in 1997. He is giving evidence in his second trial this year.

Mr Jenkins is accused of battering Billie-Jo to death with an iron tent peg while she painted patio doors at the house in Lower Park Road, Hastings.

Daughters' row

The first incident described to jurors in which he disciplined Billie-Jo was when she was 12.

Mr Jenkins said: "I heard a noise upstairs so I went up and Billie was pulling heads off dolls."

He said Esther, his daughter then aged seven, was crying, and he asked Billie-Jo to stop, but when Esther went to stop further damage, Billie-Jo swore at her and grabbed her hair.

"I prised one of Billie's hands off Esther's hair and then slapped her face," he said.

Sion Jenkins
Sion Jenkins has remarried since divorcing Billie-Jo's foster mother

The second time was when his former wife Lois was having a discussion with Billie-Jo, but she had not wanted to listen and looked at her foster father to bail her out.

Mr Jenkins said: "I turned Billie's face gently towards Lois and said 'look at your mother'."

He also denied kicking Billie-Jo's sprained ankle on a family holiday in the year before she died.

This is his second retrial after a jury failed to agree a verdict in July. The ongoing trial began in November.

Mr Jenkins started his evidence on Monday by telling the jury about his early life including being suspended from the Glasgow Academy as a teenager, when he sneaked out to go to a club after a rugby win at the age of 16.

The trial continues.


SEE ALSO:
Billie-Jo 'attacked by Jenkins'
17 Nov 05 |  England
Billie-Jo 'flirted' with Jenkins
11 Nov 05 |  England


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