A MAN who was allegedly murdered by a mother and son over a long-running land dispute defecated on a footpath and threatened to set a barn alight, a jury was told yesterday.

Gary Dean’s body was found in a ditch off House Carr Lane, Hood Green, by a walker on September 6 last year.

Carol Dawson, 71, of Stonewood Grove, Hoyland, and Scott Dawson, 41, of Allotts Court, Birdwell, deny the 48-year-old’s murder and have been appearing for the second week of their five-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

A jury was played 999 recordings of phone calls made by both Carol and Scott Dawson yesterday, relating to Mr Dean’s alleged behaviour on their land.

In one recording, made on June 13, 2017, Carol said: “It is a nightmare - we own 27 acres of land and we’re trying to get our business off the ground but we can’t.

In Text Promo Image

“We have a new barn but we can’t put livestock in there because this man, called Gary Dean, is threatening to set it alight. We’ve never been in trouble but we’re getting nowhere with our reports to you (the police).

“It’s getting out of hand. Our gates have been smashed, a stile we put down for the public’s safety has been chopped up and we’ve even found his faeces on the path.

“We’re even watching the land in our car from 6pm until 1am and we shouldn’t have to be doing it.

“We haven’t heard from anyone, all we get is a crime incident number. It’s not on - he’s just doing what he wants. How much more do we have to take? All we want is a police officer to come out.

“If we go and confront him, I bet the police would come out straight away then. I’m on anti-depressants because of this.”

The Dawsons claim that problems with Mr Dean - who was a keen sportsman and was part of local club the Penistone Footpath Runners - began in 2014 but neither party knew each other beforehand.

They say that despite numerous calls to the police over the subsequent years complaining about criminal damage which they allege was caused by Mr Dean, officers failed to take their reports seriously.

The jury was told Mr Dean appeared at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court in 2017 and a restraining order was granted to prevent him from direct or indirect contact with the Dawsons.

In another recording, Scott Dawson said: “This is a constant issue, there’s new damage all the time. We know who it is, he (Gary Dean) is causing people a lot of problems in this area and we need to find out why he’s getting away with it.

“We’ve seen him in the past cause damage to our property, thousands of pounds worth, and if he’s getting away with it we ought to as well. If he can do it, we may as well do it to him.

“He’s a lunatic. It’s absolutely ridiculous and we’ll be going to the newspapers with it. This is going to end.”

The Crown Prosecution Service said the killing took place between 6.50am and 7.20am, alleging the Dawsons had a ‘vendetta’ against Mr Dean, whose body was found with an air rifle wound to his back and significant injuries to his head.

The trial continues.