Church organist’s widow hurt in ‘frightening’ attack

The widow of a church organist who was murdered in a street attack on Christmas Eve has described how she was herself the subject of a violent mugging as she prepared for the trial of her husband’s killers.

Maureen Greaves
Maureen Greaves

Lay-preacher and former social worker Alan Greaves, 68, died after he was attacked near his home in the High Green area of Sheffield last year.

Jonathan Bowling, 22, was jailed for a minimum of 25 years last month after he admitted murdering the devout Christian and another 22-year-old, Ashley Foster, was found guilty of Mr Greaves’ manslaughter and jailed for nine years.

His widow, Church Army evangelist Maureen Greaves, 64, explained after the trial how she had forgiven her husband’s killers.

Now Mrs Greaves had described how she was punched in the face in the street in June by a woman who tried to take her handbag.

She told the Sheffield Star how it made her think of how her husband would have felt when he was being brutally assaulted.

“It was very frightening,” Mrs Greaves told the newspaper.

“The worst thing was it made me imagine Alan being attacked and what he was feeling.”

Mrs Greaves was attacked outside shops on Burncross Road, in Chapeltown, Sheffield.

She said the woman demanded cash and hit her so hard it knocked off her glasses and left her with bruises.

Her son, Peter, was with her and intervened.

South Yorkshire Police said a 24-year-old woman was arrested on on suspicion of assault and attempted robbery.

A spokeswoman said: “A file regarding the woman has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration pending psychiatric reports.”