Everton FC coach and former player sentenced for sending offensive message to wife
Everton FC coach and former player Francis Jeffers has pleaded guilty to sending offensive and menacing messages to his wife Lucy Jeffers.
The Crown Prosecution Service said that Jeffers, 38, who played for Everton, Arsenal and England during his career, sent the offensive messages on 30 May 2019.
Their 20-year relationship had broken down and Jeffers became convinced she was having an affair.
He then sent her several messages via the social media platform Whatsapp, telling Lucy Jeffers, 38, that her life was over and that she wouldn’t need many of her clothes as she would be in a coffin.
Mrs Jeffers, who has been married to Francis Jeffers for 10 years but had warned him that the relationship was over, reported the messages to Merseyside Police. She said there had been ongoing issues with their relationship and the messages left her genuinely fearing for her life.
Today (30/10/2019) at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court, Jeffers, of Croxteth in Liverpool, pleaded guilty to sending an offensive and menacing message and was fined £625, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £62 Victim Surcharge.
A 12-month restraining order was also imposed that says he must not contact Lucy Jeffers and he must not attend her home or her workplace.
Crown Prosecutor Sophie Leyland of Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Francis Jeffers has had an impressive career as a professional footballer and is a coach with Everton FC.
“But he has embarked on a course of action that has now brought him before the courts and sent his wife menacing messages that left her genuinely fearing for her life.
“His motivation for sending the messages is irrelevant - to send messages like that is a criminal offence and he has caused his wife real distress.
“Emails and social media messages have real impact and it’s important that people think long and hard before they send messages that could be breaking the law.
“He has pleaded guilty to his offending and is facing the consequences.
“The Crown Prosecution Service would like to thank Lucy Jeffers for finding the courage to report what has happened to her. Hopefully publicity around cases like this will help others facing similar distress to come forward and report it to the police. We hope it stops potential perpetrators from doing it in the first place.”