The partner of former EastEnders actress Sian Blake has pleaded guilty to murdering the soap star and their two sons.
Arthur Simpson-Kent, 49, entered the plea at the Old Bailey, London, on Friday morning via video link from high-security Belmarsh Prison in South East London.
Simpson-Kent – who appeared in court wearing a red T-shirt and black trousers – will be sentenced in a three-day hearing starting Oct. 4.
Speaking outside the courtroom to reporters, Blake’s sister Ava smiled and said the family was “really relieved,” reports The Guardian.
Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn of Scotland Yard’s Homicide and Major Crime Command added in a written statement that family members “have lost two entire generations of their family to a violent and completely senseless act of murder at the hands of Simpson-Kent.
“Arthur Simpson-Kent has never given a reason as to why he killed Sian, Zachary and Amon in the way that he did.”
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Simpson-Kent was arrested in February at Heathrow Airport following his capture on a remote beach in Ghana on Jan. 9.
The freelance hair stylist had flown to the African country on Dec. 18 – four days after Blake, 43, and their sons Zachary, 8, and Amon, 4, were last seen at a family gathering in Leyton, East London. On the afternoon of December 14, Blake made a telephone call to an acquaintance. This was the last time she is known to have been alive.
The bodies of all three were later discovered buried in shallow graves in the back garden of the family home in Erith, Kent, following a forensic examination that used police dogs specially trained to find human remains.
A postmortem examination found that the soap star and her children died from serious head and neck injuries. Scotland Yard believes that Simpson-Kent committed the murders sometime between Dec. 13 and Dec. 16.
Blake, who suffered from motor neurone disease, played Frankie Pierre in 56 episodes of EastEnders between 1996 and 1997. Scotland Yard today confirmed that Simpson-Kent had withdrawn 700 from her bank account before he flew to Ghana. They also believe that a text from Blake’s phone received by her sister on Dec. 16, was sent by Simpson-Kent – and that he had already murdered his family. The ominous message said that Blake and the children needed to get away for a while.
Chief Inspector Gwyn says, “Sian’s close-knit family are devastated by the loss of their much loved sister, daughter and cousin. The deaths of Zachary and Amon have compounded their grief.”
The statement adds, “We now await the sentence date of the 4 October where I hope the family can get some form of closure for what has been, and continues to be, an incredibly difficult time for them.”