Blackmailer who brandished taser during police chase in St Albans jailed

Layton Jeffers, 29, has been jailed for almost 10 years after being in possession of a taser, as wel

Layton Jeffers, 29, has been jailed for almost 10 years after being in possession of a taser, as well as pleading guilty of blackmail and racially and religiously aggravated offences. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Archant

A 29-year-old man has been jailed for almost 10 years for a string of offences, including possession of a firearm during a police chase in St Albans last year.

Wanted Layton Jeffers was sighted on London Road, St Albans in August last year, St Albans Crown Court heard last month.

When approached, he ran from officers who chased him before he turned and produced a taser from his bag. An officer reported stopping to shield herself, fearing she would be hit.

However, Jeffers discarded the taser on the floor before running again – this time into a nearby pub. Here he threw pint glasses at one officer, before head butting and punching another during his arrest.

Jeffers, previously of Brickly Road, Luton, was taken for a mental health assessment, where he continued to be aggressive and threatening.

He later hit another police officer, striking him in the face, and spat at two more officers – one needing hospital treatment after being hit in the eye.

Jeffers was wanted in connection with a blackmail investigation. In June and July last year he contacted a person known to him through an associate three times using social media.

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Each time he demanded £200 or he would harm the victim or his home. After the third time, the victim reported the offences to police. Jeffers was remanded following his arrest before pleading guilty to the offences.

On July 10, he was jailed for nine years and nine months for possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He also received custodial sentences of two years for the blackmail offences. These are to be served concurrently with the taser-related offence.

Jeffers was also convicted of two racially and religiously aggravated public order offences and five assaults on the officers who dealt with him during his arrest and detention. The sentences for these matters have either been served while he was on remand or are being served concurrently to the other sentences.

Det Con Mark Chipchase said: “Jeffers’ volatile behaviour put members of the public and police in serious danger. He used violence, threats and – most seriously of all – a taser in his attempts to avoid arrest.

“This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in Hertfordshire and Jeffers’ long sentence rightly reflects the gravity of his actions.”