Wayne Jeffs: Friend stole from tragic Biggleswade dad's family
PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 January 2018
A close friend of Biggleswade's Wayne Jeffs stole cash from his family while they still tragically held out hope he was alive and just missing.
Stephen Moody, 27, stole jars of coins totalling more than £100 from Peter Jeffs – three months after his son Wayne went missing, and shortly before the 29-year-old’s body was found in August last year.
According to Wayne’s partner Carla Holbrook, who was heavily pregnant at the time, Moody then suggested to her and Peter that the cash could have been taken by Wayne himself – giving them false hope that he was still alive.
Moody, of London Road in Biggleswade, stole the money from a cupboard in Peter Jeffs’ living room while visiting in mid-July last year. He returned later that day and smashed a bathroom window in an attempt to create the appearance of a break-in.
He admitted theft and criminal damage on the second day of his trial at Luton Crown Court on Wednesday, and was sentenced to three months behind bars by Judge Richard Foster.
Carla – mum of Wayne’s son Jack, born two weeks before the plasterer’s body was found in a Biggleswade field on August 12 – told the Comet she didn’t believe justice had been done.
“Wayne’s dad just can’t believe it – he was supposed to be Wayne’s mate,” she said.
“He was Wayne’s friend, and one he was seeing the most before he went missing. If he had asked for money, Peter would have given it to him.
“Instead he’s come in, talked about Wayne and then dragged this on from July to now. Peter’s had to have days off work to come to court, just for him to admit it.
“He preyed on Wayne’s dad when he was vulnerable. He came around to mine a couple of days previous, making out he was concerned about Wayne – and even rang me after he left Peter’s.
“Later on he threw me off the scent by telling me other people were hanging around so it could be them – to the point of telling me some guy robbed his phone, and that he had seen a guy with loads of change in a shop.
“He even led us to believe it could be Wayne. He gave us hope. We felt bad because we had lost this money, but it was wonderful to think Wayne might still be alive.”
Moody – whose fingerprints were found on a cigarette lighter discovered near the broken window – was accused of breaking in to steal the money.
On the second day of the trial, after he admitted taking the cash and then smashing the window, the charges were changed to theft and criminal damage.
Wayne’s family never got the stolen money back. Judge Foster ordered Moody to pay £115 surcharge.