Bassetlaw murder trial: Lawyer’s last words to jury on killing

Alan James Easton
Alan James Easton

A jury has been urged to convict all three people on trial for the murder of a man who was buried in a shallow ditch in Everton.

Barristers in the trial of Angela Dowling, Matthew Duffy and Mark Bingham have today (Tuesday) started to make their closing submissions to the jury at Nottingham Crown Court.

Dowling, 48, of Windmill Avenue, Conisbrough, Duffy, 23, of Sussex Street, Balby and Mark Bingham, 50, of Fishponds Road West, Sheffield all deny murdering Alan Easton, who was found dead in a ditch in farmland just days after he had moved from his home in Scotland to Dowling’s house in Conisbrough. .

Stephen Schofield, 31, also of Windmill Avenue, Conisbrough has admitted murder.

Mr Easton, 50, died as a result of being stabbed and beaten, in what the prosecution claim was a ‘horrific and violent’ attack on 1st February 2013.

The trial has heard how Mr Easton believed he was going out for a meal to celebrate his engagement to Dowling, but the trio planned to scare him into going back to Scotland.

Dowling claims Easton had acted inappropriately towards a young teenage girl and the court heard he possessed child pornography.

Instead Mr Easton was taken to a dark lane in Everton, where the prosecution claim he was attacked by Duffy and Schofield.

The court has heard that Dowling was waiting in the car having driven them to the scene, while Bingham was at Dowling’s home.

In his closing submission to jurors, prosecutor Ian Unsworth QC said: “It isn’t just these two men that were present at the scene that bear the responsibility for this.”

“It’s Angela Dowling, the lady that took them to the scene, that brought them back and helped them before, during and after and the man (Bingham) she spoke to on the Thursday night for two hours and 17 minutes when they discussed killing Alan Easton. It’s the man that one day hoped of running away with her.”

“They all played their part and they are all guilty of murder.”

Duffy’s lawyers claim he did not take part in the attack, while Dowling told police she had no idea Mr Easton was going to be killed.

Simon Csoka QC, defending Dowling, urged the jurors to look at the scientific evidence, which suggested a ‘frenzied’ and ‘rushed’ attack.

He suggested that finding out about the child pornography would have pushed Duffy and Schofield ‘over the edge,’ but claimed his client did not plan or know about the killing.

The trial continues.