Dark side to 'ordinary guy' who killed model

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The Independent Online

Mark Dixie was a man without shame, who claimed he had sex with a dead body to avoid being jailed for murder.

He was addicted to sex and responsible for a string of sex attacks in Australia where he lived for six years, but kept this side of his character hidden from many of those who knew him.

Dixie, who worked as a chef in pubs and restaurants in England, Australia, Holland, and Spain, was able to conceal his true character from friends.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Cundy, who led the murder hunt, said he kept his previous convictions from everyone.

"There is a lot we do not know about Mark Dixie, but his friends say he is just an ordinary guy," he said. "All of his life he has hidden who he is."

He said that the friends he stayed with in nearby Avondale Road on the night that Sally Anne was murdered did not tell police that he had been there.

They were interviewed five days into the investigation and it could have been solved within a week or so if they had run checks on his name and alarm bells would have rung.

In the end, DNA evidence proved there was only one in a billion chance that he was not the man who had sex with Sally Anne on the night she died.

But Dixie chose to concoct a claim that he had sex with her body after stumbling upon it after she was attacked.

It meant that the teenager's horrified family was forced to sit through the gruesome details about what he did to her during the trial.

Detective Inspector Chris Pere said: "He had no shame, no humility at all."

Many of Dixie's friends could not believe it when he was arrested for Sally Anne Bowman's murder.

He was generally thought of as a "good guy" even though he was a user of people.

Born in south London, his parents parted when he was a baby. He had two step brothers when his mother remarried.

He was sometimes known as "Aussie" because he acquired an Australian accent when he was living there between 1993 and 1999.

The Old Bailey was told he travelled there with a girlfriend with whom he had two sons before coming back to the UK in 1999.

Dixie worked in various pubs and met another girlfriend, Stacey Nivet, whom he moved to Spain with, and they had a son together.

She told the court of their stormy relationship punctuated by rows and drug-fuelled sex.

They moved back to Britain and from 2003 to 2004 they lived in Blenheim Crescent, the same street where Sally Anne was murdered.

But the relationship did not work out and he moved to Amsterdam, then to live with a cousin in Coulsdon, Surrey.

He later moved to a pub with another woman, where he had been appointed head chef.

Brian Altman, prosecuting, said Dixie was a "recreational drug user" who would become the "life and soul of the party" after taking drugs, but he was also known to suffer from mood swings.