Mother and son jailed for life for murdering runner in footpath dispute
A mother and son who murdered a runner after pursuing a vendetta against him over his use of a footpath that crossed their land have been handed life jail terms.
Gary Dean’s body was found in a ditch in woods near his home after he had been shot in the back with an air rifle and repeatedly beaten with rocks and branches.
The 48-year-old was killed by Scott Dawson, 41, and Carol Dawson, 72, after regularly using land belonging to them for running and other activities, prompting a long-running and bitter feud, prosecutors said.
A jury heard how, as part of the disagreement, Mr Dean’s home was daubed with offensive graffiti and he was falsely accused of attempting to lure children into the woods with him.
After carrying out his murder last September, the Dawsons intended to dispose of his body by using a digger but were prevented from doing so when his remains were discovered by a walker, a court heard.
Following a five-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court, they were convicted on Friday afternoon of murder.
On Monday, Scott Dawson, of Allotts Court, Barnsley, was jailed for life with a minimum of 31 years and Carol Dawson, of Stonewood Grove, Barnsley, were jailed for life with a minimum of 26 years.
The pair showed no reaction as they were told the length of their sentences.