Colchester man with “burning sense of grievance” sent parcel bomb to step-mother and father
- Credit: Staff
A Colchester man with a “burning sense of grievance” towards his father and step-mother for abuse he allegedly suffered as a child made a parcel bomb which exploded when his step-mother opened it, it has been alleged.
Sandra Jeffries’ hair and clothing was 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 by several metres, Ipswich Crown Court was told.
“Perhaps only by good fortune she sustained minor injuries,” said Christopher Paxton, prosecuting.
An expert who examined the device after the explosion at 69-year-old Mrs Jeffries’ home in Othello Close, Colchester, at around 10am on December 21 2016 described it as an improvised explosive device (IED).
Mr Paxton said such devices “might usually be associated with incidents in the Middle East as opposed to the middle of a housing estate in Colchester.”
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“Whilst Sandra Jeffries survived the blast it is clear that the purpose of such a device was to cause at least serious injury - why else would the sender of this device pack hundreds of metal tacks into it?” said Mr Paxton.
Before the court is Wayne Jeffries, 54, of Glisson Square, Colchester, who has denied causing an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.
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The court heard that in 2008 Sandra and Victor Jeffries had a £40,000 lottery win and Jeffries had subsequently made allegations to the police that Sandra and her husband Victor, who was his father, 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.
Jeffries appealed the decision without success.
“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 Mr Paxton.
He said that at the time of the explosion in 2016 Mr and Mrs Jeffries hadn’t see the defendant for more than 20 years.
Mr Paxton said Facebook posts demonstrated Jeffries “obsession” with his alleged treatment by his parents including one in which he referred to “evil parents such as mine.”
“That feeling appears to have festered in his mind over decades,” he added
He said on December 21 2016 Sandra Jeffries was at home on her own when she found a “heavy” parcel addressed to her on the doorstep.
When she opened it she initially thought someone was playing a practical joke on her because white smoke came out if it and it started hissing.
When it exploded she saw flames and “missiles flying about” and heard banging.
A red clothing peg with a screw attached which was some kind of improvised firing switch was found in the device and police later found similar red washing pegs in a bin at the home of one of Jeffries’ friends and CCTV footage showed him buying the pegs from a Wilko’s store on December 1, 2016.
Police also discovered Jeffries had carried out an internet search on his laptop for a fireworks” igniter and found a cardboard roll containing metal tacks at Jeffries’ home .
The court heard that after his arrest Jeffries denied making or sending the explosive device.
The trial continues.