Pregnant woman was stabbed to death with screwdriver after unsuspectingly inviting killer into her Milton Keynes home, coroner hears.

A woman expecting her first baby was brutally stabbed 33 times in her MK home, a coroner has been told.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 2:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 2:38 pm

Hours after painting her kitchen ceiling in an attempt to renovate her home for the arrival of her unborn baby, the body of 29-year-old Ella Parker was discovered in her hallway.

Senior coroner Tom Osborne heard that days before the killing, the mother of schizophrenic Ryan Blacknell had taken him to a mental health unit at the Campbell Centre in Milton Keynes after she became concerned with his behaviour.

Tragically, after just one night he left the hospital because "he felt the in-patients were going to eat him if he stayed longer," it was reported.

Ella Parker was five months pregnant

The 25-year-old was a childhood friend of Ms Parker's brother and he went to stay at their house in New Bradwell. On the morning of December 7 2017, Ella - who was five months pregnant - was painting and sent a selfie to a friend which read "more paint on me than the ceiling."

Her body was found hours later by a neighbour, who had arrived to help with the renovations, the coroner heard.

A post-mortem examination found 33 puncture wounds to her head and neck.

This week the victim's aunt, Vivienne Parker, uncle Bruce Parker and cousin Peta Ferguson, appeared over video link to the pre-inquest review hearing following the devastating death of Ella.

Ryan Blacknell

Mr Osborne said: "We have not met since October 1 2019. We are here to try to resurrect it today. We are working towards getting a full inquest listed as soon as possible."

Sitting at Milton Keynes Coroner's Court, Mr Osbourne listed 21 witnesses who had important evidence to share in this tragic case - including doctors and nurses from the Campbell Centre.

He decided that a jury would not be needed at the inquest and set aside five days to listen to the evidence.

"I am hoping by that time we can return to court, we are working on the assumption we will never return to complete normality. We will be far more flexible about giving evidence over the video link than before," he said.

Victim Ella Parker was looking forward to the birth of her first baby

Deciding that it would be "a little uncomfortable" to host the inquest on the same week as Ella's birthday, the coroner decided the inquest would start on January 17 2022, fixed for five days.

At the end of the pre-hearing review, aunt Vivienne Parker double-checked that the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust - which runs the Campbell Centre - was going to be represented at the inquest, which the coroner confirmed.

Ryan Blacknell, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court in April 2018 to manslaughter by diminished responsibility. He was acquitted of an alternative charge of murder.

He was sentenced to a hospital order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act with a restriction order under Section 41 of Mental Health Act at the same court.

Ella was found dead at her New Bradwell home

At the time, Ella’s family paid tribute to her and thanked Thames Valley Police for the way they handled the case.

The family said: “Ella could put a smile on anyone’s face, she was someone who you naturally drawn to as she was such a unique blend of kindness, warmth and humour. She was a bright light in the community and loved by many of all ages. She was full of life and ready for her next chapter as a mother.

“Now, she won’t be able to grow old with her family and her little boy won’t get a chance at life at all. Ella, a friend, cousin, sister, niece and mother to be. You will always be in our hearts and thoughts and we miss you dearly.