The boyfriend of Erith EastEnders actress Sian Blake has admitted murdering her and the couple's two young sons.

Arthur Simpson-Kent appeared at the Old Bailey this morning (June 10) and pleaded guilty to the murder of Ms Blake and the couple's sons Zachary, eight, and four-year-old Amon.

Simpson-Kent, formerly of Pembroke Road, appeared before Mr Justice Singh wearing a red t-shirt and black trousers, via video link from Belmarsh jail.

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Arthur Simpson-Kent during a previous court hearing

He was remanded in custody ahead of a three-day sentencing beginning on October 4, when he faces three life sentences.

The killings

Ms Blake was last seen when she visited a friend in Leyton on December 13 last year.

On the afternoon of December 14 she made a phone call - this was the last time she was known to be alive. 

It is believed the murders were committed between December 13 and 16.

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Arthur Simpson-Kent

Ms Blake's sister received a text from her phone on December 16 to say she, Zachary and Amon needed to get away for a while but detectives believe this text was sent by Simpson-Kent after he had murdered his family.

The same day, after Ms Blake's family contacted the NSPCC concerned for the welfare of the mother and her two sons, police visited Simpson-Kent at home - he told officers they had gone to visit a friend in Cambridge.

Despite initially being uncooperative, Simpson-Kent then let police into the bunglow.

The trio's bodies were found by officers with sniffer dogs, wrapped up and buried in a secluded area at the back of the garden at their family home in Pembroke Road, almost three weeks later, on January 5.

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Sian Blake

They died from head and neck injuries after being bludgeoned to death, a post mortem examination revealed.

The manhunt

Police launched a manhunt to find Simpson-Kent, who vanished shortly after the visit on December 16.

It emerged he travelled to Glasgow before flying to Ghana via Amsterdam after visiting a friend in Camden and withdrawing £700 from Ms Blake's bank account.

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Forensics at the family's home in Pembroke Road, Erith

Murder detectives travelled to Ghana and Simpson-Kent was subsequently arrested on January 9, and extradited to the UK on February 12 where he was charged with the murders.

A 'lovely' woman

Ms Blake played Frankie Pierre in 56 episodes of EastEnders between 1996 and 1997. She was suffering from motor neurone disease before she died.

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Zachary Bilal Kent-Blake, eight, and Amon Ben George Kent-Blake, four

Neighbours spoke of their shock following the discovery of the bodies and paid tribute to a "lovely" woman.

Susan Buck, 66, told News Shopper: “I think it’s terrible, what’s happened. She didn’t deserve that and neither did the two boys.

"It just leaves a gutting feeling. I can’t really put it into words. Eight-years-old and four-years-old, what life did they have?

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Tributes left in Pembroke Road

Pharmacist Andrew Adeyeye, 45, said: “She was a lovely lady. It’s difficult to get over. She came in with two lovely kids as well.

“The kids were very well behaved. I never knew she was a star or an actress or anything like that.

“She was happy, she wouldn’t moan or anything. It’s terrible, devastating."

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Sian Blake's mother Pansy is driven away from Westminster Magistrates' Court in February


The actress's mother Pansy and sister Ava attended court to witness Simpson-Kent admit his crimes.

Outside, her sister Ava smiled and said the family were "really relieved".

Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn, Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "Arthur Simpson-Kent has never given a reason as to why he killed Sian, Zachary and Amon in the way that he did.

"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 and they have lost two entire generations of their family to a violent and completely senseless act of murder at the hands of Simpson-Kent."

The police enquiry

Following the murders the Met Police referred themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) after facing questions about why it took three weeks for a homicide unit to be called in.

Timeline of events:

  • Sunday, December 13 2015 – Last sighting of Ms Blake, Zachary and Amon in Waltham Forest.
  • Wednesday, December 16 2015 – Last sighting of Arthur Simpson-Kent at his home in Pembroke Road, Erith, when he was spoken to by police.
  • Between December 16 – 18 2015 – Ms Blake, Zachary and Amon reported missing. Simpson-Kent is also reported as a high-risk missing person.
  • Friday, December 18 2015 – Police force their way into the Erith bungalow over reports of concern for Simpson-Kent.
  • Friday, December 31 2015 – Met Police release missing persons’ appeal for Ms Blake, Zachary and Amon.
  • Sunday, January 3 - Ms Blake's car is found in Bethnal Green.
  • Monday, January 4 – Murder squad detectives take over case.
  • Tuesday, January 5 - The bodies of Ms Blake and her two children are found in the back-garden of their family home. Simpson-Kent is still missing.
  • Wednesday, January 6 - A post-mortem and formal identification of the bodies takes place and reveals the trio died from head and neck injuries.
  • Saturday, January 9 - Simpson-Kent arrested in Ghana.
  • Tuesday, January 12 - Simpson-Kent is arrested at Heathrow Airport.
  • Tuesday, February 16 - Simpson-Kent appears at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
  • Friday, April 29 - Simpson-Kent admits to killing Ms Blake, Zachery and Amon, his lawyer reveals.
  • Friday, June 10 - Simpson-Kent pleads guilty to three counts of murder a previously unlisted hearing at the Old Bailey.
  • October 4 - Simpson-Kent's three-day sentencing is expected to begin.