Trans killer who had 'obsession with death' jailed for life for murdering stranger as he walked home from night out

26 February 2024, 14:59 | Updated: 26 February 2024, 16:23

Cat killer Scarlet Blake, 26, has been jailed for life.
Cat killer Scarlet Blake, 26, has been jailed for life. Picture: Thames Valley Police

By Emma Soteriou

A trans killer has been jailed for life after murdering a stranger as he walked home from a night out as part of a warped sexual fantasy inspired by a Netflix documentary.

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Scarlet Blake, 26, will serve a minimum of 24 years' imprisonment for murdering Jorge Martin Carreno.

Blake singled out Mr Martin Carreno, 30, as he walked home from a night-out in Oxford in July 2021 before brutally attacking him.

The killer led him to a secluded river bank, where he was hit on the back of the head with a vodka bottle, strangled and then pushed into the River Cherwell.

The defendant, of Crotch Crescent, Oxford, was convicted of murder last week following a three-week trial at Oxford Crown Court.

Prosecutors said Blake, who is transgender, killed Mr Martin Carreno due to a "fixation with violence and with knowing what it would be like to kill someone".

It came four months after Blake live-streamed the sadistic killing of a cat, Oxford Crown Court heard.

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Scarlet Blake
Scarlet Blake. Picture: Thames Valley Police

Sentencing, Mr Justice Chamberlain said: "It is not possible to say exactly how, whether you hit him on the back of his head with a vodka bottle or something else you had in your backpack, then strangled him by applying pressure to the blood vessels just beneath his jaw using your hands or ligature, then putting in the river where he drowned.

"You may have held him down in the water while strangling him. Either way, you intended to kill him, and you did.

"The 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 because your emotions overcame you.

"It is the culmination of a plan you've been considering and formulating for months before, and after July 25 as you showed an obsession with harm and death."

The prosecution said Blake 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 appeared to fall unconscious.

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

Jorge Martin Carreno
Jorge Martin Carreno. Picture: Thames Valley Police

Blake was captured on CCTV prowling the streets of Oxford looking for a victim, wearing a military-style hooded jacket, face mask and carrying a rucksack.

Prosecutors suggested she was carrying a "murder kit", including a garrotte and leopard print dressing gown cord, but Blake rejected the claims.

Giving evidence, Blake denied looking for a victim that night, instead claiming to have gone for a walk due to not being able to sleep.

Blake blamed others for the murder - including former partner Ashlynn Bell.

"You told the court that you didn't want to kill a living creature, let alone a person, and it was Ashlynn who pressurised you to do so," the judge said.

"You attributed your morbid interests to a split or dissociative personality, using the language of psychiatry or psychoanalysis.

"You adopted the persona of a cat. You talked about the difficulties you had had since transitioning in childhood to live as a woman and about your troubled relationship with your parents.

"All this was part of an elaborate attempt to rationalise what you had done and shift responsibility to others.

"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."

Detective Superintendent Jon Capps, who led the investigation, speaking after Scarlet Blake was jailed for life
Detective Superintendent Jon Capps, who led the investigation, speaking after Scarlet Blake was jailed for life. Picture: Alamy

Months earlier, Blake set up a live-stream to show the killing of a cat.

Blake was heard telling the family pet: "Here we go my little friend. Oh boy, you smell like s**t. I can't wait to put through the blender."

After the killing, the animal was dissected, with its fur and skin removed before being placed in the blender.

During the video, the New Order song True Faith could be heard in the background, which the court heard was in homage to the Netflix documentary Don't F*** With Cats, in which a man kills kittens before filming the murder of a human.

Blake "boasted" about the killing with others and "her desire to open up a person like her 'little cat friend'".

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