Teen discussed attack with murder accused

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A teenager who spotted two young men rushing away from the scene of the attack on Alan Greaves chatted about the crime to a man accused of his murder just days later.

William Parr, aged 17, recalled bumping into Ashley Foster at the High Green Co-op store and discussing the church organist’s death as he took to the witness box yesterday.

He told Sheffield Crown Court how he had been at a friend’s house with four other pals throughout the day on Christmas Eve before heading out just after 10.30pm.

When he and Conrad Knell separated from the party at about the same time of the attack on Mr Greaves, they began walking through Mortomley Park.

Mr Parr said: “We heard a loud bang like the sound of someone hitting a lamppost or a wooden bat hitting metal. It echoed in the air.”

Minutes later he saw two young men – who the prosecution argue were Jonathan Bowling and Ashley Foster – ‘laughing, walking and talking’.

Mr Parr told the court: “We turned round and saw two people coming towards us. It was dark so you couldn’t really see their faces.

“They were speed-walking, sort of jogging. Conrad said something like ‘oi come here’ and I said it again but quieter, but they scuttled off.”

CCTV images of Mr Knell and Mr Parr were shown to the court on the night.

Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, read from a description Mr Parr provided to police of the two men he saw. It said: “Boy one looked young, he was skinny and about 5ft 9in, boy two was stockier, more muscular.”

The court heard that days after Mr Greaves passed away from his injuries, Mr Parr, who has known Foster for about two years, bumped into 22-year-old in a local shop.

He said: “We talked about how bad it was. I said what a tragedy it was. I don’t remember him saying anything back to me.”

In cross-examination, Adrian Waterhouse raised questions over his memory of the events.

Mr Knell was due to give evidence today.

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