11 Jan 2013

Two men in court over Christmas church organist murder

Two men appear in court charged with the murder of church organist Alan Greaves on Christmas eve.

Alan Greaves, the church organist who died after being attacked on his way to midnight mass on Christmas Eve

The two men, 21-year-old Ashley Foster and 22-year-old Jonathan Bowling, were charged with the murder of Greaves on Thursday.

The 68-year-old grandfather-of-four was on his way to midnight mass in Sheffield when he was attacked. He died three days later from severe head injuries.

South Yorkshire Police said the pair will appear in Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Friday morning. Foster, from the High Green area where Mr Greaves died, and Bowling, from the Foxhill area of north Sheffield, were arrested earlier this week.

‘Shock and outrage’

Greaves, a lay preacher at the St Saviour’s Chruch in High Green, which he was heading to on Christmas eve, lived a few hundred yards from where he was attacked.

The murder led to “shock and outrage” in Greaves’ community, with the Bishop of Sheffield saying: “Goodness is not as common as it should be and this community and this city have lost a shining light.”

More than 50 police officers were drafted into an inquiry into the attack. Two other men were arrested at the end of December and were bailed, pending further inquiries.