A woman with ‘an extreme interest in death’ livestreamed the sadistic mutilation and killing of a cat months before murdering a man she met on the street, a court has heard.
Scarlet Blake, 25, is accused of targeting Jorge Martin Carreno, 30, as he walked home from a night-out in Oxford in July 2021.
His body was found in the River Cherwell at Parsons Pleasure having suffered what appeared to be a blow to the back of his head before drowning. But jurors at Oxford Crown Court heard it was another two years before the events of that night could be ‘properly understood’.
Alison Morgan KC, prosecuting, told them Mr Carreno died because he crossed paths with Blake that night, adding: ‘He died because he met a person who had a fixation with violence and with knowing what it would feel like to kill someone.’
She went on to explain how months before the alleged murder, Blake had livestreamed the killing and dissection of a cat.
Blake was said to have used food and a crate to capture the cat and take it to her home where she killed the animal.
‘The defendant’s actions towards the cat show planning, in particular the purchasing of equipment necessary to do what she wanted to do to this cat, and demonstrated a fixation with what it would feel like to cause harm to others,’ Ms Morgan said.
‘They reveal her grotesque pleasure in causing harm to a cat.’
In the video, in which the New Order song True Faith plays in the background, Blake tells the cat: ‘Here we go my little friend. Oh boy, you smell like s**t. I can’t wait to put you through the blender.’
Ms Morgan told the court: ‘After killing the cat, the defendant then went on, while still on the livestream, to dissect it.
‘This is not simply about killing a defenceless animal. Its relevance to this trial is the defendant’s overall demeanour.
‘The footage shows her to be someone who had a disturbing interest in what it would be like to harm a living creature. What it would feel like to cause suffering before taking a life away.’
Blake ‘boasted’ about the killing with others and ‘her desire to open up a person like her “little cat friend”’, the court heard.
‘It is clear that in her own mind she made a connection between what it felt like to harm this cat and what it would feel like to harm a person,’ Ms Morgan said.
The court heard Blake had watched a Netflix documentary called Don’t F*** with Cats in which a man kills kittens before filming the murder of a human – while the same New Order song played in the background.
Describing the events leading up to the alleged murder, Ms Morgan said Mr Carreno had become ‘separated from friends and perhaps lost and vulnerable’.
She said he ‘had the great misfortune of being approached by this defendant in the early hours on July 25, 2021’ while she was ‘out on the streets of Oxford that night looking for a victim’.
Ms Morgan went on: ‘She targeted him and took him to Parsons Pleasure, where she killed him, leaving his body to be discovered by others over 24 hours later.’
The court heard his body was found in the water the following day and his cause of death was given as ‘immersion with alcohol intoxication’.
Ms Morgan said compression of the neck could cause the type of injuries he suffered.
She noted that as his body had been in the water for 36 hours, the external injuries would have been impacted by this.
‘This is not a case where strangulation caused Mr Carreno’s death,’ she added. ‘He didn’t die on the riverbank because the defendant strangled him to death.
‘He was alive to a degree when he went into the water. That sort of compression though can result in loss of consciousness so that is something which could have well happened before Mr Carreno then went into the water.’
Ms Morgan explained that during the police investigation detectives have built up a picture of Blake’s background.
‘The prosecution alleges that this defendant had an extreme interest in death and in harm,’ she told the jury.
‘It was an interest that went beyond mere fantasy. She described herself to others as being someone who derived sexual gratification from the thought of violence and the thought of death.’
Jurors were shown videos of Blake and her partner engaging in consensual strangulation with ligatures.
One shows her partner sat on a bed pulling the cord from the leopard print dressing gown tight around her neck until she appears to collapse and then breathe heavily as she recovers.
The second clip shows Blake pulling a white cord tight around partner’s neck from behind with her again collapsing then recovering.
Ms Morgan said: ‘There is a fascination with ligatures for sexual gratification.
‘Whatever it is about the fascination with the dressing gown, it must have been in her head and led her to take a selfie just an hour or so with that dressing gown before she found Mr Carreno.’
The court also heard Blake had allegedly discussed with her partner Mr Carreno’s murder.
Referring to being in the company of a man, Blake messaged her, saying: ‘Last time I found someone this drunk they died lol.’
Blake, of Oxford, denies murder.
The trial continues today.
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