Teenager to be sentenced for knife murder of top civil servant he met on Grindr

Ben Bamford found guilty of inflicting more than 40 injuries on senior HM Revenue and Customs official Paul Jefferies and will now be sentenced

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A teenager will be sentenced after being found guilty of murdering a high-ranking civil servant at his country cottage after they met via the gay dating app Grindr.

Ben Bamford, then 17, used three knives to inflict more than 40 injuries during a “sustained attack” on senior HM Revenue and Customs official Paul Jefferies, 52, including slashing his throat.

Mr Jefferies, who reportedly advised ex-chancellor George Osborne's Treasury team, was found naked with a tea towel over his head on his blood-covered kitchen floor in Coggins Mill Lane, Mayfield, East Sussex.

A two-week trial at Lewes Crown Court heard how Bamford had sought to rob Mr Jefferies on February 23 after building up drugs debts of about £400.

Bamford, now 18, denied murder, claiming he was protecting himself from Mr Jefferies who had “come on to him” but jurors convicted him on Tuesday after deliberating for three hours.

Bamford met Mr Jefferies via Grindr two years before the killing when he was 15 and resumed contact in December 2015 following a break.

By the time they met again Bamford was desperate for money to settle drugs debts and was being pressured by a dealer called Glen.

Text exchanges between Bamford and Glen were read in court. One, which was sent on the day of the killing, read: “I'm not happy. On my boy's life, I will see you today.”

In another text exchange, Glen accused Bamford of “treating me like a mug”. Bamford replied: “I will get it to you. Don't worry.”

After leaving Mr Jefferies for dead on the kitchen floor at his Grade II-listed cottage, Bamford took his Audi TT car and picked up a friend en route to Eastbourne District General Hospital.

Jurors were shown a selfie picture of Bamford flicking his middle finger while lying on his hospital bed after he was admitted, having claimed he had self-harmed so the police would be not called.

Mr Justice Spencer will sentence Bamford, of South Street, Crowborough, from 10.30am on Wednesday.