Following a two-week trial before Mr Justice Nicklin sitting in the Crown Court at Leeds, Ashley King was convicted of murdering Gareth Atkinson by stabbing him in the throat and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 17 years. Conor Quinn defended Stephanie Bowman, who was acquitted of assisting an offender.

After the murder, King attended at her address, where he remained for two days until his arrest. During that time, Bowman’s phone accessed news content relating to the murder and was told by a friend that King had just murdered someone. Bowman told this friend that she did not speak to King, despite him being at her address at the time.

When she was interviewed, she gave different accounts as to when he attended at her house, denied having any reason to suspect that he had committed an offence and maintained that he had not told her anything about a stabbing, which was contrary to what King told the police, and later, the jury. Ms Bowman did not give evidence in her defence. However, after a day of deliberating and despite convicting King of murder, the jury acquitted Bowman of assisting an offender.

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