Teen jailed for murder of top civil servant

Ben Bamford

Ben Bamford,18, has been jailed for a minimum of 16 years for the drug-fuelled murder of a civil servant he met via Grindr and stabbed 40 times in a frenzied attack. Bamford was 17 at the time. The victim is a senior HM Revenue and Customs official Paul Jefferies, 52.  Mr Jefferies, who advised George Osborne, was found naked with a tea towel over his head on the blood-covered kitchen floor of his country cottage in Mayfield, East Sussex.

Lewes Crown Court heard Bamford had set out to get money from Mr Jefferies to pay a drug debt. Bamford denied murder claiming he was protecting himself from Mr Jefferies who had “come on to him”.

After leaving Mr Jefferies for dead at his home, Bamford locked up the house and stole his car and picked up a friend en route to Eastbourne District General Hospital.

Blood-spattered Bamford then posed for selfie picture less than three hours later while flicking his middle finger on his hospital bed.  He had told hospital staff he had self-harmed so the police would not be called.

Sentencing Bamford Mr Justice Spencer said he murdered him in a drug-fuelled “outburst of extreme violence” possibly over money or sex, “In total you inflicted in excess of 40 knife wounds to the head and body of Paul Jefferies with at least three knives. They included stab wounds to his face, close to the right eye and to his forehead where the knife scored the skull. The overall attack must have lasted several minutes, during which time he was conscious and mobile. You must have realised by the end that he was fatally injured. You placed a tea towel over his head and shoulder as he lay dying on the floor, probably because you could not bear to look at what you had done. The reality is that you must have stabbed him many times in the bedroom, in an outburst of extreme violence, as the photographs clearly demonstrate.  Precisely what triggered that outburst we shall never know unless and until you choose to disclose it. It may have been to do with sex. It may have been to do with money.”

Mr Justice Spencer said it was in the kitchen where “the final merciless carnage took place”, adding that Mr Jefferies said and did nothing to “excuse or explain” the killing.

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