Murder victim had spent his fortune

Police attend the murder scene at Everton.
Police attend the murder scene at Everton.

A woman accused of murdering her new boyfriend within a week of him moving into her Doncaster home became engaged to him a fortnight after her husband’s funeral, a jury has been told.

But Angela Dowling then discovered Alan Easton, aged 50, was not as rich as she thought.

That may have been a motive for his death just five days after he gave up his home in Scotland to live at her house in Windmill Avenue, Conisbrough, which she also shared with another lover and her children.

Dowling, 48, and two men are on trial at Nottingham Crown Court accused of murdering Mr Easton on February 1 last year.

Also in the dock are Mathew Duffy, 23, of Sussex Street, Balby, who is a friend of Dowling’s son, and Mark Andrew Bingham, 50, of Fishponds Road West, Woodthorpe, Sheffield, who is said to be a ‘close friend’ of Dowling. All deny murder.

Ian Unsworth, QC, prosecuting, told the jury Mr Easton was taken to a remote country lane at Everton, near Bawtry, with Dowling driving the car.

He is said to have been beaten, stabbed and buried alive by Duffy and another man, Stephen Schofield – who was also in a relationship with Dowling and who has admitted the murder.

Mr Unsworth said Mr Easton had known Dowling and her husband for many years, and he was ‘fond of her and harboured hopes of forming a relationship with her when Mr Dowling died’ on December 29, 2012.

“Within a few days of the funeral she travelled to Scotland and slept in the same bed as him. Shortly afterwards he moved to Conisbrough and they got engaged, with a £75 ring bought from a shop in Doncaster.

“At some point Mr Easton had inherited a significant sum of money but, by January 2013, he had spent it.

“It may well be she thought Alan Easton was wealthier than he was. Maybe when he travelled south she made the discovery he wasn’t the wealthy man she believed.”

Mr Unsworth said it was clear Mr Easton wanted to settle in Conisbrough because he set about claiming benefits in England and instructed neighbours in Scotland to sell some of his property.

The trial is expected to last up to four weeks.