Colchester grandmother describes opening parcel bomb sent to her home

Police, paramedics and fire fighters at the scene in Othello Close in Greenstead, Colchester, where

Police, paramedics and fire fighters at the scene in Othello Close in Greenstead, Colchester, where a parcel bomb allegedly exploded. - Credit: Staff

A Colchester grandmother who opened a parcel bomb that had been sent to her home initially thought it was a practical joke, a court heard.

David Carter, who lived next door to 69-year-old Sandra Jeffries in Othello Close, Colchester, said he ran to her house after hearing a loud bang at around 10am on December 21 2016.

He said that Mrs Jeffries, who lived at the property with her husband Victor, had described seeing smoke coming out of the parcel as she started to open it on a glass table in her hall.

“She said she thought someone had played a practical joke on her,” said Mr Carter, who was giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court on the second day of the trial of Mrs Jeffries’ step-son Wayne Jeffries, who is accused of making and sending the package.

Jeffries, 54, of Glisson Square, Colchester, has denied causing an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.

It has been alleged that Jeffries made and sent the parcel bomb to the home of his father and step-mother because of a “burning sense of grievance” towards them for alleged abuse he suffered as a child.

The court has heard that Mrs Jeffries’ hair and clothing were singed by the device which was packed with hundreds of metal tacks and exploded with such force that it damaged the house and dislodged a loft hatch.

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The court heard that in 2008 Sandra and Victor Jeffries had a £40,000 lottery win and Jeffries had subsequently alleged that Sandra and Victor Jeffries had abused him when he was a child.

The police investigated the allegations and referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which decided no action should be taken against the couple.

“It is clear from what was later uncovered by the police that this defendant had a burning sense of grievance against his parents.

“ No doubt incensed by that decision the defendant, we say, took matters in to his own hands and sent to his parents’ home address this explosive device,” said Christopher Paxton, prosecuting.

He alleged there were a number of strands of evidence that linked Jeffries to the explosion.

The court heard that after his arrest Jeffries denied making or sending the the device.

The trial continues.

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