Everton murder trial: Victim beaten and buried alive, court told

Alan James Easton
Alan James Easton

A jury heard how a murder victim was left buried in a shallow grave in a remote farmland ditch in north Notts, possibly while he was still alive.

Alan Jones Easton was beaten, stoned and stabbed to death in the dead of night in a revenge attack for allegedly behaving inappropriately with the teenage daughter of a Conisbrough woman he had moved in with just days before, a court heard.

Police incident at Everton

Police incident at Everton

A trial has opened into a Conisbrough woman and a Balby man charged with the murder of Alan Jones Easton, found dead on farmland earlier this year.

Angela Dowling, 47, of Windmill Avenue, Conisbrough and Matthew Duffy, 22, of Sussex Street, appeared at Nottingham Crown Court.

They are charged with the murder of Alan Jones Easton, whose body was found on farmland in Everton.

Stephen Schofield, 31, also of Windmill Avenue, Conisbrough has admitted murdering Mr Easton, 50, of Bonhill, Dumbartonshire, who had recently moved to Conisbough.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Ian Unsworth QC, said Mr Easton had been a friend of Dowling’s late husband who had died from Leaukemia in December 2012.

The court heard how the couple had a difficult marriage.

Mr Easton had formed a relationship with Dowling and had moved from Scotland to live with her, telling friends they were engaged.

Dowling lived in Conisbrough with three of her children and lodger Stephen Schofield, with whom she was said to have had a sexual relationship with.

Duffy was a friend of Dowling’s son Andrew, aged 21.

Angela Dowling had claimed Mr Easton had ‘acted inappropriately’ with her 13 year old daughter, which the prosecution claimed was untrue.

Andrew had heard the two men talking about scaring Mr Easton to get him to return to Scotland.

The three defendants had hatched a plan to take him out for a meal, in a ruse to attack him as punishment.

Video evidence showed the three defendants at the Co-op store in Edlington, near Doncaster, on the evening of 1st February 2013, where Schofield bought a pack of rubber gloves.

A matching glove and packet were found at the scene where Mr Easton died just hours later.

Analysis of mobile phone calls showed Dowling’s phone had been close to the scene of the shallow grave where the body was discovered on 2nd February.

In phone calls made to a friend at her home, she said the three men had been out and about while she remained in the car, which was parked on an un-lit lane six minutes walk from where the body was found.

Mr Easton had then been attacked with heavy stones and a knife or knives.

In a phone call to Dowling’s son, Duffy had claimed Mr Easton had had a fight with them in an argument over football and had been put on a train back to Scotland.

At that point he was lying in a shallow grave, his body mutilated and beaten, quite possibly alive.

The case continues.