Church organist's death: two convicted

18/07/2013

Ashley Foster has today been found guilty of the manslaughter of church organist Alan Greaves. Mr Greaves was walking to his local church in High Green, Sheffield on Christmas Eve 2012 when he was attacked by two men. Jonathan Bowling pleaded guilty to murder and today following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court, Ashley Foster was found guilty of manslaughter.

Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Yorkshire and Humberside Gavin Hotchkiss said:

"Alan Greaves was killed in a brutal, senseless and random attack which rocked the local community.

"The prosecution case has focused throughout on proving that both Jonathan Bowling and Ashley Foster caused the death of Mr Greaves. Bowling admitted his guilt when faced with the overwhelming evidence. Foster claimed that whilst he was there he played no part in the attack, however today a South Yorkshire jury has found him guilty of manslaughter.

"The prosecution case was that both Bowling and Foster took part in the attack and we placed together pieces of evidence that contradicted Foster's account for the jury to consider.

"Whilst this case in itself has shocked many to the core, what stands in contrast is the absolute dignity and forgiveness demonstrated by Mrs Greaves during what must have been one of the most distressing times in her life.

"I extend my sympathies to the friends and family of Mr Greaves and hope that the convictions today will be of some small comfort to them."