Everton: Murder trial collapses in third week

Police incident at Everton
Police incident at Everton
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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 on Thursday 29th August after a morning of deliberations at Nottingham Crown Court.

Alan James Easton

Alan James Easton

A fresh trial has been pencilled in to start again on Monday 4th November 2013 but it has not yet been decided which court it will be held at.

Dowling, aged 47, of Windmill Avenue, Conisbrough, and Duffy, 22, of Sussex Street, Balby, are accused of the murder of 50-year-old Scotsman Alan Easton.

He had moved to South Yorkshire from Bonhill, Dumbartonshire, 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 this year.

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.

But 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 last Thursday.

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 throughout 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 can not be reported until the conclusion of the retrial.

Mr Easton’s body was discovered by a member of the public on farmland at Middle Cross Lane, between Harwell Sluice Lane and Everton Lane on Saturday 2nd February.

Police spent days scouring the area for evidence and five people were originally arrested as part of the investigation.