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Murder trial jury shown cottage that civil servant was killed in

The blood-covered cottage where a senior civil servant who advised ministers on Government tax policy was allegedly murdered by a teenager he met via the gay dating app Grindr has been shown to jurors.

A 360-degree image of the Grade II-listed end-of-terrace property showed the blood-spattered kitchen where the body of high-ranking HMRC official Paul Jefferies, 52, was found.

Blood marks were also seen on the stairs leading into his bedroom where bed sheets and pillows were also heavily stained at the cottage in Coggins Mill Lane, Mayfield, East Sussex.

It is alleged that openly-gay Mr Jefferies, who had reportedly advised ex-chancellor George Osborne's Treasury team, was murdered by 18-year-old Ben Bamford on February 23.

Mr Jefferies had his throat slashed, which severed his jugular and windpipe, and he sustained numerous other injuries, including an almost-severed left-hand thumb.

Prosecutors claim Bamford set out to rob Mr Jefferies after they had met on Grindr some two years earlier after he built up drugs debts of about £400.

Bamford, from Crowborough, denies murder, claiming he was trying to protect himself from Mr Jefferies after he had "come on to him" and "tried to rape him".

At Lewes Crown Court, Sussex Police crime scene investigator Adam Newton took jurors through the cottage using the 360-degree image taken the morning after the discovery of Mr Jefferies.

Mr Newton told the jury: "The overall state of the property was clean and tidy bar the copious amount of blood and disruption to the various items in the property.

"There was no evidence of any search. We conducted a full review of the windows and doors, and couldn't see any signs of any insecurity or forced entry."

Glass broken into about 49 pieces was found on the double bed and a horizontal cut was seen on a pillow case on the blood-soaked bed, jurors were shown.

Inside a bedside table cabinet were painkillers, lubricant and condoms. Elsewhere in the bedroom, a kitchen knife was found.

Neighbour Neale Robinson, who lives with his wife and four children, said in a statement that since Mr Jefferies bought the cottage for cash, he only ever saw him with one visitor.

He told how on the night of the killing he heard the sound of wheels spinning on gravel and the following day noticed the blinds to Mr Jefferies home pulled down and his Audi TT gone.

The case continues.


From Belfast Telegraph