Advertisement

Woman who live-streamed cat killing guilty of murdering man as he walked home from night out

A woman who killed a cat in a blender has been found guilty of murdering a man as he walked home from a night out in Oxford.

Scarlet Blake, 26, killed Jorge Martin Carreno, 30, in July 2021, a jury at Oxford Crown Court found on Friday. Carreno was found dead in the River Cherwell at Parson’s Pleasure, having drowned after receiving a blow to the back of his head and being strangled.

Martin Carreno’s death came four months after Blake live-streamed the killing and dissection of a cat. She admitted dissecting the animal, removing the fur and skin and placing it in a blender, but blamed her former partner, Ashlynn Bell.

Scarlet Blake has been found guilty of murder (Thames Valley Police)
Scarlet Blake has been found guilty of murder (Thames Valley Police)

The trial heard that Blake had an “extreme interest in death and in harm” and had killed the family pet after watching a Netflix documentary called Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer. In the programme, a man, Luka Magnotta, kills kittens before filming a murder.

Live-streaming her actions with the song “True Faith” by New Order playing in the background, Blake could be heard saying: “Here we go my little friend. Oh boy, you smell like s***. I can’t wait to put you through the blender.”

Prosecutors alleged the cat-killing was relevant to the murder trial as it showed that Blake has a “disturbing interest in what it would be like to harm a living creature”.

Jurors also saw videos of the defendant and her partner engaging in consensual strangulation with ligatures.

Jorge Javier Martin Carreno was killed on the way home from a night out (Family handout)
Jorge Javier Martin Carreno was killed on the way home from a night out (Family handout)

Martin Carreno, a BMW worker, had been on a night out with work colleagues in Oxford city centre before he died.

CCTV footage shows Blake – wearing a heavy-duty coat and a mask and carrying a backpack – walking around the city centre before approaching Martin Carreno, who was sitting down. Inside her bag she was carrying a “murder kit”, which included a garrotte and a leopard-print dressing-gown cord, as well as a vodka bottle.

After a short while, they went together to the secluded Parson’s Pleasure area, where Blake attacked Martin Carreno with a blow to the head before strangling and drowning him.

Blake had said Martin Carreno was alive when she left him there to walk home.

The defendant told jurors she had falsely confessed to her partner that she had murdered Martin Carreno, because Ms Bell, who lives in the US, had wanted her to kill a person after the cat incident.

Referring to the alleged confession, Blake told the jury she had seen news reports of the body being found and created a fictitious story.

Blake had an obsession with violence, strangulation and murder (Thames Valley Police)
Blake had an obsession with violence, strangulation and murder (Thames Valley Police)

“I told Ashlynn that I killed that person, I made up the details in a dramatic way,” she said. “I told her I used a garrotte that I made to try and remove the person’s head but it was more difficult than I would have imagined, and then I dumped the body in the river, which is what they are now pulling out.”

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

Jurors in the murder trial went out to consider their verdict on Thursday afternoon and came back to convict Blake 24 hours later.

Blake made a video of the cat killing (Thames Valley Police)
Blake made a video of the cat killing (Thames Valley Police)

In a statement issued by Thames Valley Police after the verdict on Friday, Martin Carreno’s family paid tribute to their loved one.

“The loss of Jorge has left an open wound in the heart of his family but also in all those who had the pleasure of knowing him,” they said.

“This loss feels like a traumatic, devastating blow, leaving a void impossible to fill. Going through the pain of losing a son, a brother, under such tragic and unjustified circumstances, is a trial no family should face.

“Today his absence leaves a deep wound in our hearts. His life was stolen, cutting short his projects and dreams. This tribute is a reminder of Jorge but also a call to justice. There can be no peace until justice is served.

“We ask not only for justice for him but also for protection to prevent other people, other families, from suffering the immense pain caused by such cruel and senseless murders. We extend our heartfelt thanks for the incredible support from family, friends, the police, and our lawyers during this tough time.”

Detective Superintendent Jon Capps, the senior investigating officer, said: “Today’s verdict marks the end of a long and complex investigation. I know that many will want to focus on the actions and behaviour of this defendant.

“There are several aspects of this case that have been truly disturbing to see, hear and deal with. This defendant showed calculated cruelty. The acts Blake has been convicted of are barbaric and chilling. The murder was premeditated, with total disregard and disdain for life.

“Thankfully, crimes such as these are incredibly rare.

Text messages and images showed Blake’s obsession with death and murder (Thames Valley Police)
Text messages and images showed Blake’s obsession with death and murder (Thames Valley Police)

“I want rather to focus on Jorge and his family and pay tribute to them and the enormous dignity they have shown throughout this ordeal. They have put their trust in my team. I cannot begin to imagine the pain they feel.

“As the evidence has developed, they have had to try to come to terms with this not only being a murder, but the nature and character of this defendant, something that I know has served only to compound the grief they feel.

“There can be no beginning to understanding this senseless act.”