Two men face trial for murder of church organist on Christmas Eve


Two men are will stand trial for the murder of a church organist who was attacked on Christmas Eve.

Alan Greaves, 68, was beaten in the street as he made his way from his home in High Green, Sheffield, to midnight Mass at nearby St Saviour’s Church.

Ashley Foster, 21, and Jonathan Bowling, 22, appeared at a plea and case management hearing at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday charged with his murder.

Neither entered a plea and the case was listed for a two-week trial starting on 24 June.

Mr Bowling, who was wearing a black tracksuit top, appeared via video-link from Wakefield Prison. Mr Foster, wearing a red T-shirt,  appeared in the dock.

Judge Michael Murphy, QC, said there had been a lot of interest in the case both locally and nationally and it was in the interest of Mr Greaves’ family that it progressed as scheduled. He added: “For all concerned we ought to get this case tried on 24 June.”

Mr Greaves, whose widow, Maureen, described him at his funeral in February as “a truly beautiful man”, was taken to hospital following the attack but died a few days later.

The two accused were further remanded in custody.