Widow of slain South Yorkshire man tells killers: ‘The murder took away my future’

The widow of a South Yorkshire man murdered in a ‘brutal’ attack says her future has been ‘taken away’ after his killers were found unanimously guilty earlier today.

By Sarah Marshall
Saturday, 10 August, 2019, 12:57
Caroline Dean delivered a statement outside court, after her husband's killers were found unanimously guilty of his murder

Mother and son, Carol Dawson, 72, of Stonewood Grove, Barnsley and Scott Dawson, 41, of Allotts Grove, Barnsley showed no emotion as a jury found them guilty of the murder of Gary Dean, 48, this afternoon.

This followed a five-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court, during which both defendants declined to give evidence.

Mr Dean’s body was found in woodland near to his home in Silkstone Common, Barnsley on September 6 last year.

Gary Dean, 48, was murdered by Carol Dawson and Scott Dawson in September last year

His wife, Caroline Dean, read out a moving statement to the court during today’s hearing, in which she said his ‘brutal’ death ‘haunts’ their family.

Mrs Dean added: “The murder took away my future, my sense of personal identity and my sense of purpose. I have been with Gary all of my adult life. That life was full of colour, adventure and laughs. For myself and many of his friends, it has been like a light going out, making the world a much dimmer place.

“We had so many plans and drea ms for our future that will now never happen.”

She added: “The brutal nature of Gary’s death haunts us all. He had tried to get away, already seriously injured, when the attack continued in an unnecessarily brutal way. I have come to terms with the fact that my husband suffered a painful and violent death, and that he died alone in a ditch.

Scott Dawson was found guilty of Gary Dean's murder on August 9, 2019, following a five-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court

“I can not begin to imagine the pain and terror he felt as he was beaten to death. Finally, I no longer feel I can go on living in our home, it being so close to where Gary was killed. I no longer feel safe or comfortable in Silkstone Common. Everything that made me feel safe and secure has been taken from me.”

Denise Dean, Mr Dean’s mother, spoke on behalf of herself and Mr Dean’s father, John, and said the couple were finding it ‘difficult to accept’ what had happened to him. “Life without him in it is going to be very hard from now on, and we are going to miss those precious family times we enjoyed together,” she said.

Prosecutor Peter Moulson QC said the Dawsons ‘pursued a vendetta’ against Mr Dean over problems they claimed he caused on a £300,000 piece of land near to Mr Dean’s home that was owned by Scott.

After watching Mrs Dean leave for work shortly before 7am, the pair attacked Mr Dean as he strayed onto their land, shooting him in the back with an air rifle and hitting him with the same weapon before striking him with a rock and branches.

Carol Dawson was found guilty of Gary Dean's murder on August 9, 2019, following a five-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court

The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, adjourned sentence until Monday morning, and told the Dawsons they would both be sentenced to life imprisonment.

He told them the only matter to be decided upon was the minimum term they would each serve.

As he remanded the pair into custody, Judge Richardson added: “Gary Dean was brutally murdered by you two. Take them down.”

Carol Dawson and Scott Dawson were found guilty of Gary Dean's murder on August 9, 2019, following a five-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court