Social and Relationships

Immediate family would naturally support a victim of crime, but in the event of the tragedies Jeremy’s family network had been lost. He was left with the remaining relatives who were insincere and became frequently hostile towards him. Initially unaware of this Jeremy sent flowers to Ann Eaton thanking her for her support and had requested his uncle Robert Boutflour stand bail for him on his arrest. Documents show that both relatives had not offered any sort of support network for Jeremy, in fact the opposite was the case.[1]

The findings from those interviewed for the ITA showed that victim’s experience of social situations was difficult, including everyday conversations with friends or strangers.[2] Jeremy frequently went to bars and clubs to continue in a denial of what had happened, trying to seek out normality. He had been out socializing and was even invited and attended a concert with Colin Caffell, the father of his dead Nephews Nicholas and Daniel.

Julie Mugford had become very demanding. Jeremy paid out for a birthday party for her instead of using his money to a more practical purpose. Jeremy himself said that he was not alone in turning to alcohol and friends in times of bereavement. All social and work situations were carried out whilst Jeremy had either been smoking marijuana, drinking or taking medication in order for him to function at all. He was reported as giggling with Brett Collins who worked hard to buoy his spirits. Many social situations found him engaging with friends in an affectionate manner which was frowned upon by his extended family and community. His girlfriend considered his relationship with Brett Collins and other men as inappropriate and homosexual. Julie Mugford was making it more difficult for Jeremy to get support from his own friends by objecting to them in order to control Jeremy through isolation, Jeremy's friend, Virginia, was also excluded by Julie as much as possible.

The ITA notes that when the offender is a close relation as Sheila Caffell was, conflicting feelings and anger about the relative’s action in killing the family complicates grief. This is further stimulated by social stigma.[3] Feelings that the local community disproved of his lifestyle and also of Sheila’s and her mental health problems developed as gossip, particularly in light of June’s mental health which many villagers were already aware of.

One victim reported difficulties socially and with extended family because of his sexuality and felt fearful and isolated.[4] The only person providing Jeremy with unconditional emotional support was Brett Collins but when the tragedy happened he was in Greece, Jeremy had no choice but to call Julie when he was waiting at the scene with police. As soon as Brett heard about the tragedies he flew back to Britain to support Jeremy. Brett was homosexual and their time spent together was resented by Julie and gossiped about by extended family, police,[5] and the wider community. It is well documented on police paperwork that they thought Jeremy and his friends to be ‘poofs and queers.’

[1] ITA, pg. 89.

[2] ITA, pg. 39.

[3] ITA, pg 46.

[4] ITA pg 46

[5] ITA pg. 89 It is significant that many victims were highly critical of the criminal justice agencies they had encountered.