Man admits murder of Sheffield church organist

Jonathan Bowling, facing life for murder of Alan Greaves.

Jonathan Bowling, facing life for murder of Alan Greaves.

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A tattooed thug accused of killing of a much-loved church organist who was walking to Midnight Communion service in Sheffield on Christmas Eve is facing life behind bars after pleading guilty to his murder.

A tattooed thug accused of killing of a much-loved church organist as he walked to Midnight Communion service in Sheffield on Christmas Eve is facing life behind bars after pleading guilty to his murder.

In a shock move Jonathan Bowling, aged 22, admitted murdering Alan Greaves, aged 68, at Sheffield Crown Court.

Mr Greaves died in hospital three days after he was attacked on Christmas Eve leaving behind a widow, Maureen and four children.

Jonathan Bowling appeared at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday flanked by four dock officers and pleaded guilty to the charge of murder.

With short dark hair and a prominent tattoo on his neck, Bowling, of Foxhill Crescent, Sheffield, entered the sealed dock in a two-piece grey Addidas tracksuit with darker grey stripes on the arms.

Throughout the 20 minute hearing he looked around the court, and when he stood he had his hands in his pockets.

His co-accused, Ashley Foster, aged 21, of Wesley Road, High Green, Sheffield, has pleaded not guilty to the same charge of murder and will stand trial later at a later date.

Unlike Bowling, Foster appeared via videolink from prison.

He wore a short sleeved grey t-shirt and had short, dark brown hair.

Both men spoke only to confirm their names and to enter their respective pleas.

Addressing Bowling, Judge Roger Keen QC said: “You know what the inevitable sentence is going to be but that will be passed at the end of the trial of your co-accused.”

Popular Mr Greaves’ funeral took place at a packed St Saviour’s Church near the couple’s home in High Green in February.

More mourners listened to the service via videolink at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 100m away.

During the eulogy, Mrs Greaves said she was determined to “to turn aside from hatred, vengeance, unforgiveness and retaliation’ towards her husband’s killer.

Describing her husband of 40 years, as “a truly beautiful man” Mrs Greaves said she had lost her soul mate.

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