Bassetlaw murder verdict: Two found guilty of killing

Found guilty of murdering Alan Easton from left Matthew Duffy, Angela Dowling  and Stephen Schofield.
Found guilty of murdering Alan Easton from left Matthew Duffy, Angela Dowling and Stephen Schofield.

Two people have today (Monday) been found guilty of killing a man and burying his body in a shallow grave in Everton.

A jury at Nottingham Crown Court heard how Angela Dowling, 48, her former lover Stephen Schofield, 33, and friend Matthew Duffy, 23, planned and carried out the murder of 50-year-old Alan Easton. 

Stephen Schofield

Stephen Schofield

Mr Easton, of Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, was found buried in Middle Cross Lane, between Harwell Sluice Lane and Everton Lane, in Everton on Saturday 2nd February, last year.

His throat had been cut and he had been beaten and stabbed nine times. He was still breathing when he was buried in the makeshift grave.

A jury found Dowling, of Windmill Avenue and Duffy, of Sussex Street, Balby guilty by a majority verdict today (Monday).

Schofield had pleaded guilty to murder at an earlier hearing. The three will be sentenced on Friday 2nd May.

One of the knives used in the murder

One of the knives used in the murder

A third man Mark Bingham, 50, of Fishponds Road West, Sheffield, was acquitted last week.

The trial has heard that Mr Easton had been a friend of the Dowling family for more than 10 years and had recently formed a relationship with mother-of-four Dowling, following the death of her husband in December 2012.

He had moved from Scotland to Dowling’s home in Conisbrough, the previous week and the pair had become engaged.

Mr Easton, who had inherited, and then spent, £40,000 following the death of his adopted father, had also started making plans to find work in the area.

Dowling had falsely alleged that Mr Easton had acted inappropriately towards a teenage girl.

The trial 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.

On 1st February 2013 Dowling told her family that she was going out for dinner with Mr Easton. Schofield and Duffy were going with them.

She drove them to farmland in Everton where Schofield and Duffy killed and buried Mr Easton in a shallow grave, while he was possibly still alive.

Upon their return to Dowling’s home on Windmill Avenue, they drank the alcohol they had purchased.

The next day Dowling, who claimed Mr Easton returned to Scotland following an argument, traded her engagement ring and some of Mr Easton’s possessions for £170.

She later had sex with a stranger she had met on a dating website.

Following the discovery of the body detectives found links to the address in Windmill Avenue. Telephone and computer analysis implicated Dowling, Schofield and Duffy and they were arrested for murder.