Sheffield widow reads killer’s letter

Maureen Greaves
Maureen Greaves
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The widow of murdered church organist Alan Greaves has read a letter written to her by one of her husband’s killers.

Jonathan Bowling, aged 23, who was jailed for life after battering the grandfather to death with a pickaxe handle in High Green, wrote a letter to 64-year-old Maureen Greaves from prison.

Last month Maureen said she had still not seen the message – but over Christmas she sat down with South Yorkshire Police detective Matt Fenwick, who led the investigation, and read the letter.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, the widow said: “The only thing I want to say about the letter is that I read it with Matt Fenwick and together we thought about what he had written.

“I will be writing to the probation service this very day to pass a letter on to Jonathan. All I will put in the letter is ‘I have read your letter and thank you for it’.”

Maureen said Alan’s other killer – Ashley Foster, 22, who was convicted of manslaughter and locked up for nine years – will be punished for his notoriety when he finishes his sentence in less than a decade.

“We hoped as a family for a longer sentence than nine years but the reason we have settled for the nine years is, with it being a very public trial, Ashley’s face is now known across the country.

“When he comes out of prison he will be recognised and I feel with my family that his sentence will be served outside of prison, because he will be recognised.”

She added: “Forgiveness does not mean that I don’t want justice. These two men did a very evil act, although I don’t want to call them evil men because I don’t know them.

“They did an evil act that needed, in a sense, punishment. They needed to face the consequences of what they did.”

Alan, 68, was fatally attacked as he walked to St Saviour’s Church on Christmas Eve 2012.

A year later, Maureen held a special service near the spot where he was beaten, then on December 28 her daughter Emma married at St Saviour’s.