Murder trial continues: Driver held organist’s hand

Alan Greaves
Alan Greaves
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A take-away delivery driver who discovered a battered pensioner lying in the street held his hand and tried to comfort him as he lay in a pool of blood, a court heard.

Just Tasty worker Mark Murphy was delivering to High Green on Christmas Eve when he saw the 68-year-old lying alone in the street minutes after the brutal attack which led to his death.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Mr Murphy tried to calm Alan Greaves and held his hand after dialling 999.

He was giving evidence in the trial of Ashley Foster, aged 22, of Carwood Way, Pitsmoor, who is accused of battering the lay preacher to death as he made his way to midnight mass at St Saviour’s Church.

Jonathan Bowling, also 22, has pleaded guilty to murder but Foster denies the charge.

Mr Murphy said when he found Mr Greaves just after 11pm he said he was in an ‘agitated state’ - behaviour typical of someone with a serious head injury.

The briefcase he used to carry his sheet music to church lay over his swollen face.

Mr Murphy said: “I pulled over about a car’s length from where he was lying on the floor with a lot of blood around him.

“I was trying to hold his hand but he kept moving his arms. It was like he was resisting me. He was strong for an old bloke.

“I was asking him who he was, constantly talking to him, but he didn’t respond. He couldn’t open his eyes.

“It felt like forever waiting for the paramedic to arrive. I went out on to the street and another driver pulled over and I asked him if he had any blankets in his boot to cover him because it was a cold night.

“His hands kept coming apart...but I never let go of them.”

Mr Greaves’ widow Maureen clutched a tissue to her face in the public gallery as she listened to the evidence.

Paramedic Paul Ingram, of Yorkshire Ambulance Service, was the first on scene in a responder car.

He said Mr Greaves’ distress made it difficult to treat him and it took several people to lift him on to a stretcher when the ambulance arrived.

“He appeared very agitated and confused. Very quickly I became aware he had suffered a very serious head injury. He kept trying to get up but his body couldn’t facilitate it.

“He had a large wound to his forehead which was about eight to nine centimetres.”

The trial continues.