A court in Lewes today (Tuesday) heard how a senior civil servant responsibile for advising Goverment Ministers had his throat cut, severing his jugular vein and windpine.
Mr Jefferies, 52, died at his home in Mayfield after he suffered numerous injuries in a brutal and sustained attack. He had a wound that punctured his right lung, his spleen and kidney were severed and a knife wound right through his arm. Ben Bamford from Crowborough, who was 17 at the time of the killing, is charged with his murder.
Mr Jefferies’ manager at HM Revenue & Customs reported that he had not been at work for two days. When police arrived at his cottage to check that he was okay, officers could see a body lying on the kitchen floor covered in blood. The Police could not gain entry and the Fire Service had to be called to smash the door down. Mr Jefferies was found dead, naked except for a tea towel covering his head. There was a trail of blood leading down the stairs from the bedroom.
The defendent Ben Bamford, met Paul Jefferies, 52, on the gay dating app Grindr in 2014 when he was aged 15, and the pair started exchanging text messages. Ben Bamford called himself “Josh – Crowborough”. Text messages appeared to show they had met a number of times at Mr Jefferies’ home and in his car.
At Lewes Crown Court today, the prosecution barrister told the jury, on Saturday 27th February, Ben Bamford, of South Street in Crowborough, accompanied by his mother, went to Eastbourne Police Station. The defendant told police that he had been involved in a burglary in Mayfield and a knife was used. He was arrested by police. At the start of the interview the following day his solicitor read-out a prepared statement.
In the statement Ben Bamford accepted he killed Paul Jefferies. He said the two had penetrative sex in Mr Jefferies bedroom but that it hurt him. He told Mr Jefferies to stop, but he wouldn’t. He made the excuse that he needed to go to the toilet. He said he went downstairs with the intention of getting away from Paul. The door was locked and he searched around for keys but couldn’t find them. He was only wearing boxer shorts and realised his clothes were upstairs.
in the Police statement, Ben Bamford said:
I picked up a small knife in the kitchen with the intention of protecting myself should Paul try and have sex with me again. I did not intend to hurt Paul in any way. I was incredibly sacred and wanted to get away from the situation that I was in. In an attempt to obtain the escape, I caused Paul’s injuries.
He then made no comment to all questions. In a second interview the following day he remained silent throughout.
Knives were recovered from the house, along with a rolling pin and a broken candlestick, which were blood stained.
Left dead or dying on kitchen floor
During the court case the prosecution will present evident to show after the defendant left Mr Jefferies dead or dying on his kitchen floor at about 11pm on Tuesday 23rd February, he stole Mr Jefferies Audio TT car. Ben picked-up two friends and drove with them to Eastbourne Hospital where he received treatment to his hand and arm.
Staff at Eastbourne Hospital left a voicemail message for Ben’s mum explaining to her that he was there and the crisis team had been called because Ben had told them he self-harmed.
When Mrs Bamford later spoke to Ben, he told her he had been attacked by ‘some man.’ Ben Bamford was transferred to Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead where his arm was operated upon. After he was released from hospital, Mrs Bamford demanded to know what had happened. After getting angry and upset with her and smashing a mirror in his bedroom. He said:
I think the man is dead, I think I’ve killed someone…I was at some man’s house in Mayfield.
He said he was there ‘getting some money’. He went on to tell his mother the man came onto him, tried to rape him and that in a struggle to get away he stabbed him in the side and in the neck.
The prosecution also plans to produce evidence to show Ben Bamford had a drug debt of £400 and he was desperate for money.
Ben Bamford denies murder. It was explained to the jurors that there is no dispute about who killed Mr Jefferies. But in order to prove murder the prosecution must convince the jury there was an intention to kill or to cause serious harm.
The trial continues tomorrow with the court hearing forensic’s evidence. The court case is expected to last two weeks.