Church organist murder: Jonathan Bowling loses his appeal against his 25-year minimum sentence

Bowling attacked pensioner Alan Greaves on Christmas Eve 2012

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The Independent Online

Jonathan Bowling, who was jailed for life for the murder of a church organist, lost a challenge against his 25-year minimum sentence at the Court of Appeal on Thursday.

The 22-year-old was sentenced in July last year for the murder of Alan Greaves as he walked to play the organ at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in 2012.

Bowling admitted battering the 68-year-old pensioner around the head with a pick-axe handle as he walked to St Saviour's Church in High Green, Sheffield.

The father-of-four suffered catastrophic head injuries and died three days later in hospital.

Another man, 22-year-old Ashley Foster, was found guilty of Mr Greaves' manslaughter and was jailed for nine years.

Mr Greaves’ widow, Maureen, said at the time she was "happy" with the sentences.

"I really am extremely pleased with the result today,” she said outside Sheffield Crown Court.

"To think Ashley's got nine years is the very best we could have got in the circumstances of the manslaughter.

"To think that Jonathan's got 25 minimum and to think he'll probably never come out, I really am wonderfully pleased with the result."