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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 January 2006, 12:39 GMT
Billie-Jo 'suffered in silence'
Billie-Jo Jenkins
Sion Jenkins denied claims that Billie-Jo had flirted with him
Billie-Jo Jenkins "suffered in silence" as she was subjected to violence from the foster father accused of murdering her, an Old Bailey jury has been told.

She told schoolfriends but not adults because she feared foster parents Lois and Sion Jenkins would lose their jobs.

Summing up, prosecutor Nicholas Hilliard said all the evidence pointed to Mr Jenkins being the killer.

Mr Jenkins, 48, now of Lymington, Hampshire denies murdering Billie-Jo at home in Hastings, East Sussex in 1997.

The 13-year-old was battered to death with an iron tent peg as she painted the patio doors.

Mr Hilliard told the jury of six men and six women that Billie-Jo had told two schoolfriends, Holly Prior and Laura Jane Conway, similar stories about violent incidents.

"Holly told Billie-Jo to tell someone but Billie-Jo said no - she was worried Sion would lose his job and Lois would lose hers," he said.

"If Lois had known of his violence against Billie, she would never have worked again in social work and nursing."

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

Billie-Jo had not told an adult because she could not go back to her natural family and there was little realistic chance of her finding a new one if she returned to a children's home.

"In truth, she had nowhere else to go," said Mr Hilliard. "That girl suffered in silence and gave Holly Prior the reason why.

"She was worried that the defendant and Lois Jenkins would lose their jobs."

In his final speech to the jury on Tuesday, Mr Hilliard warned them against getting carried away with examination of forensic evidence.

"You have to look at the whole picture," he said. "There is a very compelling case against the defendant."

Jenkins had a propensity for violence against Billie-Jo in the past and, according to Mrs Jenkins, was a man who "had rages".

The case continues.

Jenkins 'shocked' to find Billie
20 Dec 05 |  England
Billie-Jo 'attacked by Jenkins'
17 Nov 05 |  England
Billie-Jo 'flirted' with Jenkins
11 Nov 05 |  England

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