Dramatic end to South Yorkshire murder trial

Murder victim Alan Easton.
Murder victim Alan Easton.
Have your say

The trial of alleged South Yorkshire murderers Angela Dowling and Matthew Duffy dramatically collapsed - in its third week at court.

His Hon Judge Greg Dickinson QC discharged the jury of nine men and three women at lunchtime yesterday after a morning of deliberations.

A fresh trial has been pencilled in for November 4 but the location has not been decided.

Dowling, aged 47, of Windmill Avenue, Conisbrough, and Duffy, 22, of Sussex Street, Balby, are accused of the murder of Scotsman Alan Easton, who had moved to South Yorkshire shortly before his death.

He had been beaten and stabbed multiple times, and his body was found in a shallow grave on farmland off Middle Cross Lane, Everton, in February.

Mud found in his respiratory tract during a post mortem examination suggested he was still alive and breathing when he was buried.

Stephen Schofield, who lived with Dowling, has already pleaded guilty to the murder.

Both Dowling and Duffy deny the charges.

Dowling wore a lilac top under a dark blazer for the hearing in Court One at Nottingham Crown Court.

Her long, dyed brown hair was half scraped into a pony tail with a blue scrunchie.

Duffy wore a long-sleeved, black striped shirt and a purple tie.

He cleaned his dark-rimmed glasses ahead of the hearing and fiddled with a silver band on his wedding finger througout the proceedings.

The straight-faced and silent pair were led off by uniformed prison guards at the end of the hearing, which was observed by a dozen spectators in the public gallery.

Dowling and Duffy will remain in custody until their retrial.

The reasons for the trial’s collapse cannot be reported until the conclusion of the retrial.