COUNTY NEWS: Man jailed for ‘merciless’ killing of Government adviser

Bamford must serve a minimum of 16 years in prison. Picture: Sussex Police
Bamford must serve a minimum of 16 years in prison. Picture: Sussex Police

The man convicted of killing a Government advisor in ‘merciless carnage’ at his cottage in Sussex will serve a minimum of 16 years in prison.

Ben Bamford, 18, was sentenced today after he was yesterday convicted of the murder of Paul Jefferies, 52, whom he met on the dating app Grindr.

Paul Jefferies was murdered at his cottage in Sussex. Picture: Sussex Police

Paul Jefferies was murdered at his cottage in Sussex. Picture: Sussex Police

He had denied the offence, saying that he was trying to protect himself when the pair met at the cottage in Mayfield, East Sussex, on February 23 this year.

During his trial the court heard that Mr Jefferies sustained more than 40 knife wounds in the attack.

Bamford appeared at Lewes Crown Court this morning for sentencing.

Bamford, who was 17 at the time of the killing, was detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, the same as a sentence of life imprisonment.

“He must have been quite helpless and defenceless.”

Hon. Justice Spencer

Mr Jefferies lived alone in his Mayfield home and commuted to London for his work as a senior civil servant with HMRC.

The court heard how he lost contact with his family in his 20s when he revealed his sexuality to them.

Speaking at the sentencing, Hon. Justice Spencer said Mr Jefferies ‘was good at this job and was well regarded’.

“He was a shy man and a very private man,” he added.

The pair first met through the dating app Grindr when Bamford was 15, but the judge told the court that Bamford accepted he never told Mr Jefferies his real age.

“Even at that early stage you saw your relationship with Paul Jefferies as an opportunity to obtain money from him,” the judge told him in court.

A period of 17 months of no contact between the pair stopped in December 2015 when Bamford stayed at Mr Jefferies’ home.

The judge spoke of how by this point Bamford had become involved with drugs. He told Bamford: “You were not only using cannabis and diazepam yourself but also selling those drugs.

“It is quite apparent that in the days leading up to the killing you were under considerable pressure from your own supplier to pay what you owed,” the judge said to Bamford.

He told the court that by the day of the murder Bamford had committed to pay his supplier £400 by the end of the week.

“Within the hour you were in contact with Paul Jefferies asking to meet up with him that night,” the judge told the court.

“Only you know precisely what happened in the cottage in the hour and a half or so you were there.

“You have never told the whole truth about what happened.

“He said and did nothing immediately before you started to stab him which could even begin to excuse or explain that outburst of violence.”

Judge Spencer said that following some amount of sexual activity in the upstairs bedroom Bamford went downstairs, returning with a small knife and stabbed Mr Jefferies ‘in an outburst of extreme violence’.

“But it was in the kitchen that the final merciless carnage took place,” the judge said.

Bamford inflicted more than 40 knife wounds to the head and body of Mr Jefferies using at least three knives, as well as blunt force injuries.

“He must have been quite helpless and defenceless,” the judge told the court.

Sentencing him, Hon. Justice Spencer said he had seen ‘no real remorse’ in Bamford’s demeanour during the trial, either in the witness box or in the dock.

Bamford must serve a minimum of 16 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

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