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Scarlet Blake guilty of man’s murder in Oxford after filming herself killing cat

A cat killer obsessed with violence and death has been convicted of murdering a man who she deliberately targeted, brutally attacked and left to drown in a river.

Scarlet Blake, 26, singled out Jorge Martin Carreno, 30, as he walked home from a night out in Oxford in July 2021.

She led him to a secluded riverbank where he was hit to the back of the head with a vodka bottle, strangled and then pushed into the River Cherwell, where he drowned, Oxford Crown Court heard.

The defendant, of Oxford, denied murder but was found guilty on Friday. Blake showed no emotion as the verdict was returned.

The trial judge, Mr Justice Chamberlain, will sentence her on Monday morning.

Prosecutors said Blake killed the BMW worker because she had a “fixation with violence and with knowing what it would be like to kill someone”.

Mr Martin Carreno’s murder came four months after she live-streamed the sadistic killing of a cat.

Blake told the family pet: “Here we go my little friend. Oh boy, you smell like shit. I can’t wait to put through the blender.”

She then dissected the animal, removed its fur and skin, and placed its body in a blender.

During the video, the New Order song True Faith played in the background, which the court heard was in homage to a Netflix documentary called Don’t F*** with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer in which a man kills kittens before filming the murder of a human.

Blake had “boasted” about the killing and “her desire to open up a person like her ‘little cat friend’”. Prosecutors said she had an “extreme interest in death and in harm” and got sexual gratification from violence and killings.

Jurors watched a disturbing video of Blake consensually tying a ligature around her then partner’s neck from behind and pulling it tight until she appears to fall unconscious.

The court heard Mr Martin Carreno had been out with work colleagues in Oxford city centre and was trying to get home when Blake found him sat down in the street.

She was captured on CCTV walking the streets of Oxford, wearing a heavy military-style hooded jacket and face mask and carrying a rucksack.

Prosecutors suggested she was carrying a “murder kit” in her rucksack, including a garrotte and leopard-print dressing-gown cord, which she rejected.

Giving evidence, Blake had denied she was looking for a victim that night and instead claimed she had gone for a walk because she could not sleep.

She said she walked with Mr Martin Carreno to Parsons Pleasure and left him there alive to go home.

“I don’t know how he died. I assumed he drowned. It wasn’t something I did. As to how, I still don’t know, I wasn’t there,” she told the jury.

It was suggested Mr Martin Carreno may have taken his own life, but his friends rejected the idea that he may have been suicidal.

An empty bottle of vodka was found in the river and the bottle top was nearby on the bank, which had traces of the defendant’s DNA on it.

Home Office pathologist Dr Brett Lockyer said he did not believe it likely that the Spanish national could have died accidentally.

He ruled out the possibility Mr Martin Carreno died immediately after being strangled with a broad ligature or neck hold, and said he drowned.

The court heard Blake confessed to former partner Ashlynn Bell, who lives in the US, that she had killed him with a homemade garrotte before throwing his body in the water.

The defendant claimed to jurors she had made up the details of the killing because Miss Bell wanted her to kill someone after making her live-stream the killing of the cat.

“I wasn’t interested or willing – it was an awful thought to me,” she said. “In the interest of keeping her happy, because I wanted her to kill me one day, because it’s sexually stimulating for me, that idea.

“She was wanting to make me do this thing and I was pretty much… well at a limit after going through the killing of the cat.”

During her evidence, Blake claimed she had a fragmented personality, which included being a cat, and meowed at the jury to show how she would interact with friends.

“There’s a part that is just a cat, which is strange and that seems to me what the happy part of me is. In that they come out when I am happy,” she said.

“With friends I know quite well who are aware of this part of me I meow at them in greeting. It is quite strange, it is very prominent when I am expressing certain emotions.

“For example, the cat has a pretty strong association with joy, and I suppose the innate goodness. It is a kind of childhood innocence.”

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