Advertisement

Cat killer who told her lover that strangling and drowning random man was ‘hot’ jailed for murder

A woman who live-streamed the dissection and killing of a cat has been jailed for life for murdering an innocent man by drowning him in a river.

Scarlet Blake, 26, walked the streets of Oxford looking for a victim until she encountered Jorge Martin Carreno, 30, during the early hours of 26 July 2021.

She persuaded him to accompany her to the secluded Parson’s Pleasure area, where she is believed to have hit him with an object, strangled him until he lost consciousness and then drowned him in the River Cherwell.

Jurors heard that Blake had a “fixation with violence and with knowing what it would be like to kill someone”, and received sexual gratification from the thought of death. After murdering Carreno, she told a new partner that she had done so because “my lover said it would be hot”.

Blake had a fixation with violence and death and had previously dissected a cat in a live-streamed video (Thames Valley Police/PA)
Blake had a fixation with violence and death and had previously dissected a cat in a live-streamed video (Thames Valley Police/PA)

Just four months previously, she had live-streamed the horrific killing of a cat in a homage to the Netflix documentary Don’t F*** with Cats. After luring her neighbour’s pet with food and a crate, she dissected the animal, removing its fur and skin before placing its body in a blender.

During the video, the New Order song True Faith can be heard playing in the background while Blake can 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.”

She later kept its heart as a memento and posed with the animal’s severed head.

At the time, Blake had been in an online relationship with a woman, Ashlynn Bell, in the US, with the two frequently discussing gore, murder and strangulation together.

The court heard that Blake confessed her actions to Ms Bell, but told jurors in her evidence that she had carried out her violent actions to please her partner, who had wanted her to kill someone.

Carreno was approached by Blake after a night out in Oxford (Thames Valley Police/PA)
Carreno was approached by Blake after a night out in Oxford (Thames Valley Police/PA)

Jurors were shown videos of the defendant and Ms Bell engaging in consensual strangulation, with Blake tightening a ligature to the point her partner appeared to fall unconscious.

For two years, Carreno’s fate was unknown despite CCTV appeals to identify Blake, until Ms Bell contacted Thames Valley Police in April 2023.

The Spanish national had been out socialising with work colleagues at a local pub and had been walking home when he encountered Blake, who offered him her bottle of vodka.

She had been wandering around the city’s streets and was seen on CCTV sizing up potential victims before settling on Carreno, who was slighter in stature and more vulnerable after consuming alcohol.

Dressed in a heavy military-style jacket with a facemask, prosecutors suggested that she was carrying a “murder kit” in her rucksack, which consisted of a homemade garrote and a leopard print dressing gown chord.

Jurors were shown texts between Blake and Bell which showed their fixation with death and violence (Thames Valley Police)
Jurors were shown texts between Blake and Bell which showed their fixation with death and violence (Thames Valley Police)

She told jurors that she had walked with Carreno to the secluded riverside area and left him there alive to go home, claiming she had no knowledge of how he died.

However, suggestions that he may have killed himself were rejected by his family and friends while a Home Office pathologist said he did not believe the BMW worker died accidentally.

It later emerged that Blake had spoken about her desire to kill in Parson’s Pleasure as she knew it was “unseen and undisturbed” and had returned to the crime scene at least twice to take pictures to keep as mementos.

“The taking of these photographs showed a profound contempt for the suffering of Jorge’s family and loved ones,” the judge said. “You were completely indifferent to this suffering.”

Pixelated image of Blake posing with the severed head of the cat (Thames Valley Police/PA)
Pixelated image of Blake posing with the severed head of the cat (Thames Valley Police/PA)

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.

She also claimed that it was Ms Bell who had wanted her to kill a human after making her live-stream the killing of the animal.

Having moved to the UK from China when she was nine years old, Blake transitioned at the age of 12 and told the court she had a difficult relationship with her parents.

Accusing her of seeking to blame others for the murder, Mr Justice Chamberlain said this was part of an “elaborate attempt to rationalise what you had done”.

Blake has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 24 years (Thames Valley Police/PA)
Blake has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 24 years (Thames Valley Police/PA)

“It is not the fault of a society that didn’t accept you, it it not the fault of your parents,” he said. “Whatever role Ashlynn Bell may have played in encouraging your interest in killing, she remained in the US.

“She did not control or direct you. Even if the decision was motivated in part by a desire to please her, the decision to kill was entirely yours.”

He added that there had been a “clear sexual motivation” for the killing, and that Blake had used her status as a murderer to secure the admiration of others who shared her interests in violence.

She had denied murder but was found guilty after six hours of deliberations and has now been jailed for life with a minimum term of 24 years.

Mr Justice Chamberlain said: “Your decision to kill Jorge was not a reaction to something he had said or done. It was not a momentary mistake, It was not a decision made in anger or your emotions overcame you.

“It was a culmination of a plan you had been considering and formulating for months before and after 25 July as you showed an obsession with harm and death.”