Bamber slammed after claim is struck out

MASS murderer Jeremy Bamber was last night accused of "harassing" surviving members of the family he decimated after he failed in a £326,000 High Court damages claim against them.

By Roddy Ashworth

MASS murderer Jeremy Bamber was last night accused of "harassing" surviving members of the family he decimated after he failed in a £326,000 High Court damages claim against them.

Bamber, who until recently owned 7.5% of the shares in successful family-run holiday park company, Osea Road Camp Sites Ltd, argued that while members of his family have made money from the venture, he had been "unfairly" done out of his rightful share of the profits. 

However, Mr Justice Pumfrey, sitting at London's High Court yesterday, upheld the family's application to have his claim struck out - saying it was "difficult to see how any equitable obligation could survive the murder of his adoptive parents".

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Last night his adoptive aunt, Pamela Boutflour, described the court case as "just another harassment" by the killer.

Bespectacled Bamber, 43, dressed in a blue sweatshirt, remained impassive in the dock as the judge gave his ruling, and will not appeal the decision. 

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He said he would accept Mr Justice Pumfrey's "wise judgement of the law". He was also ordered to pay £16,250 in legal costs bills.

Bamber was suing his maternal adoptive aunt, Pamela Boutflour, her husband Robert and their children, David Boutflour and Ann Eaton, who argued his claim was "unmeritorious to the point of being absurd".

Bamber was convicted in October 1986 of the murders of his adoptive mother June and father Nevill, both 61, sister Sheila Caffell, 27, and her twin six-year-old sons, Nicholas and Daniel, at their farmhouse home in Tolleshunt D'Arcy.

He is serving five life sentences and the then Home Secretary, Michael Howard, ruled in 1994 that he should never be released. However, Bamber still protests his innocence.

Barrister for the family, Andrew De La Rosa, said the dismissal of an appeal against the convictions in 2002 prompted Bamber to launch a rash of litigation from his prison cell against the surviving members of his adoptive family.

He made a £1.27 million claim over the will of his maternal grandmother, Mabel Speakman, but that was struck out earlier this year.

He also made a libel claim against Ann Eaton over comments she made on a television programme which Mr De La Rosa said had now "lapsed".

Bamber's claim in relation to Osea Road Camp Sites Ltd, a company based in Goldhanger Road, Maldon and set up by his grandparents, was that he should be entitled to £326,000 in "financial remuneration", along with interest going back to 1985.

Although he has recently sold his shares to cover an £18,000 lawyers' bill, he argued he had been "unfairly prejudiced".

He claimed family members had been paid large sums as directors whilst, at the same time, the company has paid no dividends so that he has not received a penny.

Bamber told the judge it was understandable that his co-owners of the company would not want to have anything to do with him "because of the nature of my convictions'.

But they could have contacted him in prison through solicitors or accountants as, he claimed, they were bound to do because he was a shareholder.

He accepted the sum of money he was claiming might be pitched too high, but argued that he must be entitled to some remuneration from the company's profits and that his claim should not be "shut out on a technicality'.

But Mr Justice Pumfrey ruled the claim should not be allowed to proceed to the next stage.

Bamber also denied harassing the family and said he had no wish to cause distress.

"I have never said anything bad about them in the press, or written to them or harassed them,' he said.

Yesterday Mrs Boutflour, who lives in Wix, said: "This is just another harassment by Jeremy Bamber, yet again. He continually harasses the family.

"We are very relieved that the judge made the right judgement, but it just goes on and on."

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