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1986: 'Evil' Bamber jailed for family murders
A 24-year-old man has been jailed for life for killing five members of his family at their farmhouse in Essex.

Jeremy Bamber will now serve a minimum of 25 years for the murders of his step-parents, sister and her two six-year-old sons.

As the guilty verdict was delivered at Chelmsford Crown Court, Bamber slumped slightly but gave no further reaction.

Sentencing Bamber to five life prison terms, the judge Mr Justice Drake said he was "warped and evil beyond belief".

No one wins, we all lose
David Boutflour, Bamber's cousin
"I find it difficult to foresee whether it will ever be safe to release someone who can shoot two little boys as they lie asleep in their beds," he said.

The trial also highlighted failings on the part of Essex police. he judge commented on the fact Bamber had "so nearly got away with five murders".

The court heard how all five victims were shot by Bamber last August at White House Farm in Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Essex.

He then placed the rifle and a bible on the chest of his sister Sheila Caffell to imply she had committed the murders before killing herself.

Detectives suspected Miss Caffell as she suffered from mild schizophrenia and had not been taking her medication.

However Mr Bamber's fingerprints were later found on the gun and his girlfriend, Julia Mugford, revealed he had talked about killing his parents.

Her mother Mary said: "We feel very sad about it all - knowing someone that well and knowing they are capable of such an act."

Outside the court Bamber's cousin David Boutflour said: "There are feelings of sadness and relief. No one wins, we all lose".

The motive for the murders is thought to have been financial. He was set to inherit 436,000 in what he thought was the perfect crime.

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Jeremy Bamber (second left)
Jeremy Bamber (second left) at his parents' funeral

In Context
Bamber has always protested his innocence.

In July 2001 a team of police officers were given four months to complete fresh inquiries into the case.

It was referred back to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.

Bamber angered his surviving family in 2002 when he offered a 1m reward for any fresh information which would help him have his sentence quashed.

In December 2002 Bamber lost his appeal against his conviction for multiple murder.

In 2004 he lost a High Court action to recover 1.27m he claimed he should have received from his grandmother's will.

He also lost another High Court case to recover 326,000 of his family's caravan site firm.

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