Sussex

Paul Jefferies murdered by teen, court hears

Forensics at the scene Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Police officers found the man dead at his home on 25 February

A teenager stabbed and bludgeoned a senior government adviser to death after meeting him through gay dating app Grindr, a murder trial heard.

The body of Paul Jefferies, 52, was found by police at his house in Coggins Mill Lane, Mayfield, on 25 February.

A post-mortem showed he died from multiple injuries, the jury at Lewes Crown Court was told.

Ben Bamford, 18, from Crowborough, denies murdering Mr Jefferies in a "sustained attack" on 23 February.

Mr Jefferies was a high-ranking HMRC civil servant who advised senior ministers on tax policy,

Jeremy Carter-Manning, for the prosecution, said in a number text messages Mr Bamford had asked Mr Jefferies for money.

He said: "He had involvement in drugs and a drug debt at the time of £400 or so, and was being pressurised by a known person who supplied drugs.

"He sought out Mr Jefferies that night with the intention of robbing him."

'Drove off'

The court was told phone analysis showed the pair had first been in contact in summer 2014 and text messages appeared to show they had met a number of times at Mr Jefferies' home and in his car.

The prosecution said mobile phone data showed Mr Bamford's phone had been connected to Mr Jefferies' home router on the day he died.

After the attack on Mr Jefferies, it is claimed Mr Bamford left him dead or dying on the kitchen floor with a towel over his head.

He then took his victim's house and car keys and drove off in Mr Jefferies' Audi TT car, Mr Carter-Manning said.

The court was told Mr Bamford later told his mother: "I think the man's dead. I think I have killed someone."

He said he had been at the house in Mayfield "getting some money" and the man had "come on to him" and "tried to rape him".

He told how he "panicked" that the door was locked and so he grabbed a knife and stabbed Mr Jefferies after he refused to let him out.

The trial continues.

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