Sheffield murder accused: I’d grass anyone for £10k

Victim Alan Greaves
Victim Alan Greaves
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A man accused of murdering church organist Alan Greaves asked police about a cash reward just days before turning himself in, a court heard.

Ashley Foster questioned police community support officers in High Green about the £10,000 put up in the wake of the attack which led to the death of the 68-year-old community stalwart.

Sheffield Crown Court heard 22-year-old Foster brought up the question of the bounty when police conducted a routine visit at the home he shared with girlfriend Natalie Evers.

Foster denies playing a part in the savage Christmas Eve attack - which his friend Jonathan Bowling has admitted.

PCSO John Beggs said: “We were in the area trying to get people to take a look at CCTV footage.

“During this conversation Ashley Foster asked if there was a reward, and my colleague explained what the reward was and how he believed it could be claimed.

“Foster said something like, ‘I heard there’s £10,000’.

“He said he knew Mr Greaves from around, but had no specific details.

“Then Foster stated that if he knew who did it, he would ‘grass anyone up’ for £10,000.”

On January 7, a fortnight after the attack, Foster broke down in tears when CCTV footage of himself and Bowling from Christmas Eve was publicly released.

Friends and family recognised Foster and Bowling - known as ‘Jono’ - from the images splashed across newspapers and television broadcasts.

The jury heard from Deborah Hay - the mother of Foster’s long-term girlfriend Natalie Evers - who spoke to Foster on the phone after the photos featured on the news.

It was her partner Richard Woodhead, who worked with Foster, who told the defendant to hand himself in to police, which he did the next morning.

Ms Hay said: “He was really, really upset.

“Tears were rolling down his cheeks.”

Reading from a police statement, Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, said: “Ashley Foster had said to her Jono had ‘done that old man’ - ‘it was not me it was Jono’.”

The jury was also told about a previous encounter between Foster and police who were guarding floral tributes outside Mortomley Park on December 28 - the day after Mr Greaves died in hospital.

Foster told the officers the crime was a ‘disgrace’ - and told PC Neil Hemsley he hoped those behind the assault were ‘hammered in prison’.

Bowling, 22, has pleaded guilty to murder.

The trial continues.