Simon Bowman murder: How police and prosecutors were able to 'dismantle' killer Christopher Graham's account of death

A senior prosecutor has revealed how they worked with detectives to ‘dismantle’ killer Christopher Graham’s account of the murder of Simon Bowman

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 5:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 6:11 pm

Graham, who tortured and mutilated his 54-year-old victim, has been convicted of his murder at Newcastle Crown Court.

The 30-year-old was convicted of the murder of Mr Bowman, a grandfather, at their house in High Street, Jarrow, back in May.

Graham, previously of Romney Avenue, Washington, had already admitted killing Mr Bowman to police, but had claimed to have been acting in self-defence.

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Murder victim Simon Bowman and his killer Christopher Graham

Mr Bowman’s body had been discovered at his home after friends became concerned that he had not been in contact.

Medical examination revealed Mr Bowman had sustained significant injuries, which included blunt force trauma and fractures, numerous cuts and the removal of fingers and toes.

Gary Buckley, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “While Christopher Graham had previously admitted to the killing of Simon Bowman, he persistently denied having murdered him.

"He instead created a cover story about having acted only in self-defence, alleging that Simon had tried to sexually assault him.

“It was clear from the extent of injuries sustained by Simon, both before and after his death, that Graham’s actions went well beyond anything that could be considered self-defence.

“Working closely with police, the Crown Prosecution Service used forensic evidence, CCTV and phone records to systematically dismantle Graham’s account, proving beyond doubt that he himself was the aggressor.

“We sincerely hope that his conviction for this horrific crime provide some measure of comfort to Simon’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Speaking after the news of his murder, Mr Bowman's close friends Mick and Kelly Collingwood released a short tribute saying they were devastated by his loss.

It read: "We are very saddened to hear the news that our dear friend Simon Bowman has passed away.

"He was a devoted father, grandfather and best friend, a man who made mistakes in the past, however, he battled back to regain a place in society.

"To us he was a loving caring man with a big heart. He will be a great loss to us all."

Detective Superintendent John Bent added: "This was a horrific, violent murder and today's verdict ensures that a very dangerous individual will be behind bars for many years to come.

"Our thoughts remain with Simon Bowman's friends and family at this most difficult time."