Final witness gives her account in murder trial

Flowers for murdered Alan Greaves in Greengate Lane, High Green, Sheffield '  See Story ?????????  Picture Chris Lawton   '31/12/12

Flowers for murdered Alan Greaves in Greengate Lane, High Green, Sheffield ' See Story ????????? Picture Chris Lawton '31/12/12

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An eyewitness who saw two men accused of murdering Alan Greaves shortly before he was attacked on Christmas Eve told a jury they weren’t acknowledging each other.

Amy Lee was giving evidence in the trial of Ashley Foster, who is accused of murdering church organist and lay preacher Mr Greaves, a 68-year-old father of four.

Foster, aged 22, denies murdering Mr Greaves but admits being with Jonathan Bowling - who has confessed to the killing - at the time of the fatal attack in High Green.

Miss Lee, who was giving evidence for the defence, told a jury at Sheffield Crown Court she was out drinking at The Queen’s Head pub in High Green on Christmas Eve when she saw Foster and Bowling.

Miss Lee said she had gone outside to the front of the pub because she was feeling unwell, and was going to go home.

She said she saw Foster, who she knew through his sister, with Bowling at about 11pm.

She said: “Ashley started speaking to us about a disagreement with somebody from the family, and that’s why they were out.

“Jono went inside the pub.

“He was a bit jumpy, he wasn’t really talking, he wasn’t with the others, he was a bit apart.

“They weren’t acknowledging each other. Jono was doing his own thing, they were quite distant.”

Asked how Ashley was, she said: “He was alright.”

The prosecution say Foster and Bowling acted together to attack Mr Greaves as he walked to St Saviour’s Church a short distance from his home.

He suffered ‘catastrophic injuries’ caused by at least three blows to the head, the prosecution say.

The court has been told Mr Greaves’ injuries were similar to those seen in a high impact car crash, or a fall from a tall building.

But Foster, of Wesley Road, denies being involved.

He has told the jury he was scared of Jonathan Bowling, who had beaten him up as a child.

Foster said Bowling acting alone struck Mr Greaves twice with a pickaxe handle he’d hidden down his trousers. Foster said he didn’t tell anyone because he was in fear for his life and the lives of his family.

The jury is expected to retire to consider a verdict early next week.

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