Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Craig Preston death: Five found guilty of love rival killing

Shiraz Bashir and Leonie Mason Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Shiraz Bashir and Leonie Mason were convicted of murdering Craig Preston after a trial at Sheffield Crown Court

A man, a woman and three teenage boys have been found guilty of killing a man in a "savage and brutal" attack before dumping his body on moorland.

Shiraz Bashir, Leonie Mason and the teenagers attacked Craig Preston in a lay by in Rotherham before discarding his body by Woodhead Tunnels in August.

Bashir, 42, and Mason, 24, from Huddersfield, were found guilty of murder at Sheffield crown Court.

The boys were found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

The five, who had all denied murder, are due to be sentenced at a later date.

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Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Craig Preston's body was discovered by dog walkers near to the Woodhead Tunnel in August 2016

During the trial jurors heard how Mason had been in a relationship with both Mr Preston and Bashir at the time of the attack on 21 August.

Prosecutors said Mason, who changed her name to Alina Shiraz by deed poll in March last year, and Bashir had plotted to kill Mr Preston because he was an "annoyance" to their relationship.

The couple recruited the three teenagers, one of whom was just 14 at the time, and lured Mr Preston to the lay by in Town Lane where he was tied up and then kicked, punched and stamped on.

After the attack his body was bundled into the boot of a car before being dumped by the side of the River Ethrow, in Derbyshire.

The court heard a photo of Mr Preston inside the boot of the car was recovered from Bashir's phone.

His body was discovered by dog walkers on 22 August.

Image copyright Gareth James
Image caption Mr Nelson's body was found on moorland near to the A628 at Woodhead Tunnels

A post-mortem examination revealed he died as a result of head injuries.

Mason and Bashir, both of Holme Park Court, Huddersfield, were remanded in custody ahead of sentencing.

The three teenagers, two aged 15 and one aged 16 - who cannot be identified because of their ages, have been taken into the care of the local authority.

Det Ch Insp Steve Handley, from South Yorkshire Police, said: "This has been a complex and difficult murder investigation into a brutal and sustained assault on Mr Preston last summer.

"Bashir, Mason and the teenage boys planned to harm Mr Preston, which we were able to demonstrate through a combination of CCTV enquiries, forensics and telecoms work.

"We completed extensive telephone forensics work on the mobiles of all defendants and rather horrifyingly, were able to retrieve an image of Mr Preston's beaten body in the boot of a car on Bashir's phone as well as many texts between all defendants planning their attack.

"The three juvenile defendants, one of whom was just 14 at the time of Mr Preston's murder, have shown no remorse for their actions, just as Bashir and Mason have denied their guilt throughout."

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