Second man held over Sheffield attack death

Alan Greaves
Alan Greaves

TWO men were being questioned by detectives last night on suspicion of murdering grandfather Alan Greaves.

A second suspect - aged 22, and described by police as being ‘from the High Green / Foxhill area’ - was arrested in Parson Cross yesterday afternoon.

Genuine servant of Christ: Alan Greaves.

Genuine servant of Christ: Alan Greaves.

A first suspect, aged 21, was arrested on Tuesday night after police swooped on a home in the Wesley Road area of High Green.

Officers spent hours searching the property and were seen carrying out bags of clothing.

Detectives had until the early hours of this morning to charge the 21-year-old, release him, or apply to magistrates for extra time to question him.

An inquest was also expected to be opened this morning into the death of Mr Greaves, who died after being set upon while walking to church on Christmas Eve.

The 68-year-old, of Greengate Lane, High Green, suffered severe head injuries as he walked to St Saviour’s on Mortomley Lane.

He was due to play the organ at the church’s midnight communion service.

He underwent emergency surgery but died three days later.

So far the motive for the killing has remained a mystery - but Det Supt Matt Fenwick, leading the investigation, said he could not rule out the possibility Mr Greaves was beaten following a botched robbery.

Police arrested the 21-year-old a day after CCTV footage was released showing two men captured on a security camera close to the crime scene on the night of the attack.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said there had been an ‘excellent response’ to the footage, but appealed for more witnesses to come forward.

Last week a £10,000 reward was put up by Crimestoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mr Greaves’ killer.

Residents in the close-knit community of High Green have been shocked by the murder.

Flowers were left at the spot where the pensioner’s body was found, near railings on the edge of a park opposite Greengate Lane Primary School, while Canon Simon Bessant, from St Saviour’s, described the attack as ‘senseless and wicked’.

“What has been deeply shocking is the severity of the violence. It is hard to understand how such a thing could happen,” he said.

Mr Greaves was a lay preacher as well as a church organist and primary school pianist, and his wife Maureen is a Church Army evangelist.

The couple were instrumental in setting up a community project which opened at the beginning of December to offer food and clothing to disadvantaged people.

At a church service after her husband’s death, Maureen said she had wept over ‘the evil that has been done’.

Two men in their 20s and 40s, who were arrested on suspicion of murder, remain on bail pending further inquiries.

Anyone with information should call the incident room on 01709 443 723, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.