David Boutflour

Information on this web site was first uploaded to the internet in December 2011.

David Boutflour is the son of Robert and sister to Ann. He had told police in a statement that on the Saturday after the tragedy, the 10th of August he found the sound moderator at White House Farm when he went there with Ann Eaton, curiously he doesn’t mention in his statement that his father was present but does say he was there in his court transcript:

I went to a cupboard under the stairs in the den. I found a cardboard box which contained 12 bore cartridges and about 200/300 rounds of.22 ammunition all of which was low velocity ammunition. Also in the box was a sound moderator for a .22 rifle. I picked up the sound moderator and saw what I believe to be blood on it. Also there was red paint or something similar on it as well. There was one quite deep scratch which was bright and appeared to be new. There was a telescopic sight in its box, in the box as well. I took these items together with the other firearms to my sister’s house. I later informed the Police of the finding of the telescopic sight and sound moderator.”

In court he details how he had noticed paint in the knurl of the moderator which appeared to him to match the colour of the mantle surrounding the Aga. It was later during September that his sister Ann Eaton pointed out scratches to police officers and it was this evidence which was also key to the conviction of Jeremy because it was alleged that the moderator was on the rifle during an apparent fight in the kitchen between Nevill Bamber and his assailant. [1]

The Eaton’s and the Boutflour’s had consistently denied that Sheila would have had any knowledge of guns and despite her attending shoots as a ‘beater’ she had never been seen firing a gun according to the family. Jeremy had already stated that Sheila had used an air rifle while out shooting with him. Jeremy had told his lawyers that David Boutflour had been shooting with Sheila Caffell and under cross examination David was pressed by Geoffrey Rivlin QC about a shooting holiday in Scotland here is an extract from his trial transcript:

Q: As regards Sheila: Of course you knew Sheila, did you not?

A : I knew Sheila quite well. In later years, but when she was in her teenage years, when I was unmarried and near, I would often take her to the local village hop or party or dinner dance.

Q : Did you ever take her on a shooting holiday?

A: Jeremy Bamber with his father came on a shooting holiday, but I cannot honestly recollect Sheila coming on one.

Q : Do you remember an occasion when you went to Scotland on a shooting holiday with Sheila?”

A : I do not recollect a shooting holiday with Sheila, but I do recollect a shooting holiday with Nevill Bamber and his son Jeremy, and also my now wife Karen Boutflour.

Q: Are you saying you have never been to Scotland with Sheila and/or others on a shooting holiday?

A : I cannot recollect Sheila being on the shooting holiday you are referring to.

Q: Did you not go on a shooting holiday with Sheila and Jeremy Bamber being present?

A : My mind is somewhat blurred at this time. There may have been and occasion when Nevill Bamber and Jeremy . . . . but this must have been many years before that. 

Q : It may have been some years before. I cannot give you a date, do you understand but doing the best I can, may I suggest to you 1978/79 period, when you went on a shooting holiday with Sheila?

Mr Justice Drake: Where abouts are you putting?

Mr Rivlin: In Scoland

Mr Justice Drake: Just the two of them, it is suggested?

The Witness:  I think I can possibly explain this a little further. It is such a long time ago I am having a lot of trouble recollecting this but, having suddenly put me on the spot, I think I can remember occasions when I have taken members of the family up to Scotland, and I belonged to a shooting party of about eight members, which we invited a guest on one or the second occasion, and we would shoot on August 12th – The Glorious Twelfth – and sometimes in September shooting on three days on each occasion.

Q: You understand I am not concerned to ask you about just any old holiday that you may have been on, however pleasant, but to ask you about a time when you took Sheila up with you, and there was such an occasion, was there not Mr Boutlfour?

Q: I have a feeling, now you have brought back the grey matter a little, Sheila may have come up with me on one occasion.

Q: Can you tell the court, did she do any shooting?”

A: It’s such a long time ago, I cannot recollect, but she certainly did not carry a gun. She may have fired a gun off in the party perhaps.

Q: She may have, but you cannot recollect?

A: I can recollect somebody firing a 12 bore off and putting it up to their shoulder, but I do not recollect whether it was Sheila or another lady.

Peter Eaton details in his handwritten draft statements to the City of London Police in 1991 that he saw Sheila using a gun on a shooting holiday in Scotland, but this was crossed out with the word “NO” written over the top of it and did not appear in the final Statement to police. It now surfaces from the evidence presented here that there is some confusion over whether Sheila had actually been seen with a gun or not. [2]  Indeed, both David and Anthony had agreed in front of DCI Taff Jones that Sheila could have been capable of using the gun to kill the family,[3] perhaps this idea came from undisclosed events like the shooting party in Scotland.

David and the rest of the family knew little of Sheila’s mental health problems. For example when David was also asked about Sheila’s mental health he answered the following questions at the trial[4]:

Q: I would like to ask you this about Sheila: I think you knew precious little about Sheila’s mental history or history of mental disorder?

A: I can only record hearsay, and I have very little practical experience of her actual condition.

Q: There was very little talk about it in the family? About Sheila?

A: Mr and Mrs Bamber were particularly secretive about things of that nature.

In 1991 David Boutflour told the City of London Police in his interviews that he “did not conclude that Jerry had done it, there was a grey area, and didn’t think he had gumption to do it.” He goes on to detail how his sister Ann and father Robert had formed the opinion that Jeremy had committed the murders. [5] Of course David Boutflour and Anthony Pargeter had already agreed together in front of DCI Jones that Sheila could have been capable of carrying out the shootings. This was direct dissent from the argument that Ann Eaton was trying to present. We already know that Ann Eaton had a lot more at stake than David and Anthony.[6] From the evidence presented here, one would conclude that Sheila had been seen with guns, and that she had been capable of carrying out the killings according to witnesses who used guns on a regular basis.

[1]  25th September 1991 DI Cook Statement to COLP

[2] Undated, Draft Statement, P. Eaton

[3] 14th August 1991, Statement to COLP, C.A Eaton

[4] David Boutflour Trial Transcript pg 37

[5] 19th July 1991, Handwritten Interview, D Boutflour

[6] 1986 Dickinson Interview, P, Eaton