A ‘femme fatal’ and her lover’s friend have today been found guilty of murdering a man who was “executed” in a country lane near Doncaster.
A jury returned guilty verdicts that Angela Dowling and Matthew Duffy murdered Alan Easton following a three week trial. Dowling’s lover, Stephen Schofield, had admitted murder at an earlier hearing.
Mr Easton, 50, was beaten, had his throat cut and was stabbed nine times before he was buried alive in a makeshift grave on February 1 last year. He had just got engaged to mum-of-four Dowling, 48, and moved into her home in Windmill Avenue, Conisbrough.
After the case, Detective Inspector Leigh Sanders, who led the inquiry, described the incident as a ”brutal attack”, adding: “Their actions were reprehensible.”
For footage of Mr Easton’s last movements and the murderers laughing and joking as they buy booze after killing their victim see video clip
Nottingham Crown Court was told that Dowling, Schofield, 33, and Duffy, 23, planned and carried out the murder of Mr Easton, after Dowling found out her fiance had spent his a £40,000 inheritance his adopted dad had left him.
The court heard that Mr Easton had been a friend of the Dowling family for more than 10 years.
Dowling falsely alleged to Schofield, who had lived at her home for the past five years, and his friend Duffy, that Mr Easton had acted inappropriately towards a teenage girl.
Mr Easton was duped into thinking he was going out for a meal and he got into a car with the trio.
Dowling drove them to farmland in Everton where Schofield and Duffy attacked and buried Mr Easton in a shallow grave.
They returned to Conisbrough and drank alcohol they bought from a supermarket in Edlington.
The court was told Dowling later hooked up with a stranger she made contact with on an online dating website and had sex.
The next day she claimed Mr Easton had returned to Scotland following an argument. She traded her engagement ring and some of Mr Easton’s possessions for £170.
Mr Easton’s body was off Everton Lane, the day after.
Dowling and Duffy, of Sussex Street, Balby, had denied murder. Dowling told police she did not know what happened to Mr Easton after he got out of her car. Duffy claimed he was asleep in the car while the murder was taking place.
Schofield admitted murder at an earlier hearing.
Mark Bingham, 50, of Fishponds Road West, Woodthorpe, Sheffield, was also accused of murder but acquitted by the jury last week.
Dowling, Schofield and Duffy will be sentenced in May.
Det Insp Sanders said: “Alan Easton had travelled to South Yorkshire to start a new chapter in his life with people he thought were long-standing family friends.
“It was to take an ugly twist when Dowling decided she no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him and it ended in an extremely violent murder.
“Under the instruction of Dowling, who had significantly tarnished Mr Easton’s reputation, Schofield acted as a jealous lover and along with Duffy subjected him to a brutal attack. Their actions were reprehensible, whatever their motives.”
He added: “This has been a complex investigation, involving a lot of work with our colleagues in South Yorkshire and Scotland.
“Throughout its course, the detectives and police staff involved have worked tirelessly to bring Alan’s murderers to justice. I would like to thank them all for their hard work and dedication. Our thoughts and sympathies are with all those who knew him.”