The murder of Sally Anne Bowman
concerns Sally Anne Bowman born (11 September 1987 – 25
September 2005), an up and coming British model. She was robbed, raped
and murdered near her home in Croydon, South London, two weeks after
her 18th birthday.
Life and career
Sally Anne attended the BRIT School for Performing
Arts and Technology in Croydon. She had dreams of one day appearing on
the cover of Vogue magazine and also being the next Kate Moss.
In January 2005, she joined Pulse Model
Management, a local talent agency. Sally took part in the
Swatch Alternative Fashion Week in April of the same year and
described her experience there. "I was so nervous all week
particularly when all the models were lined up and the designers chose
who they wanted to model their clothes - luckily I was picked by loads
of designers which gave me more confidence."
In 2005 Bowman was stabbed in the neck and stomach,
and then raped as she lay dead or dying. Her handbag, cardigan, bra,
thong and mobile phone were stolen. Mark Dixie was accused and charged
with the assault and murder of Bowman. At the Old Bailey on 22
February 2008, Dixie was found guilty of Bowman's murder by a jury of
seven women and five men after only two days of deliberation. The jury
sat for three hours and Dixie was found guilty by a unanimous verdict.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended minimum of 34
years, by which time he will be 70 years old. This is among the
longest minimum terms ever imposed upon a single murderer. It was then
revealed that Dixie was already a convicted serial sex offender.
Following Dixie's conviction, Detective
Superintendent Stuart Cundy, who had led the Bowman investigation,
said: "It is my opinion that a national DNA register — with all its
appropriate safeguards — could have identified Sally Anne's murderer
within 24 hours. Instead it took nearly nine months before Mark Dixie
was identified, and almost two-and-a-half years for justice to be
Police had initially treated Sally Anne Bowman's
boyfriend Lewis Sproston as a suspect; he was the last person known to
have seen alive and admitted that they'd argued just before she left.
He was subsequently arrested but DNA evidence eliminated him as a
suspect within hours.
The calls for a such a register were, however,
turned down by ministers and other politicians who claimed that it
would raise practical as well as civil liberties issues.
A documentary about the murder was broadcast on
BBC1 at 10.35pm on 8 April 2008. Another TV documentary, as part of
ITV's Real Crime series documented Bowman's killing, with
interviews, the history of the case and reconstructions included. It
was shown on 29 June 2009.
Mark Philip Dixie (born 24 September 1970)
was born in Streatham. When he was 18 months old, his parents
separated. When he was 8, his mother remarried; she had two sons by
her new husband. Dixie took his stepfather's surname, McDonald.
Dixie used cannabis from age 14, and later used
cocaine and ecstasy.
Dixie's criminal record begins in 1986. Between
then and 1990, he was found guilty of robbery, burglary, assaulting a
police officer, indecent assault, indecent exposure and assault
occasioning actual bodily harm.
Dixie lived in Australia from January 1993 until he
was deported back to the UK in April 1999 after being fined for
indecent exposure. He lived in London until moving to Spain in 2002.
He moved back to England in 2003.
Dixie later started work as a chef at the Ye Old
Six Bells in Horley, Surrey. He was arrested on 10 June 2006 in nearby
Crawley, West Sussex, after being involved in a fight while watching
an England vs Trinidad and Tobago World Cup football match. His DNA
was taken and matched with that of Bowman's killer.
Dixie denied the murder. As part of his defence he
claimed he had spent the night drinking and taking drugs, and had gone
out to buy more cocaine. He claimed to have come across the body of
Bowman, murdered, he said, by a third party, and had sex with her
after she was killed.
Dixie's DNA matches that left at a sexual assault
in 2001, where it is believed he masturbated in front of a woman in a
In October 2006, Dixie's DNA was sent to Western
Australia to be tested against that of the DNA evidence in the
Claremont serial killer case between 1996 and 1997, as it is believed
he was in the area at the time of the killings, and may have committed
them. At his trial for the murder of Bowman, an unnamed Thai woman
gave evidence that Dixie had stabbed and raped her in Australia in
June 1998 in Subiaco, Western Australia whilst Dixie was burgling her
house; Dixie has yet to be formally charged with this attack, though a
DNA sample from the woman's underwear has been matched to him.
On 11 September 2008, a memorial was held to mark
what would have been Sally Anne's 21st birthday. Balloons were
released in Central Croydon outside Primark along North End.
Model's killer loses appeal bid
February 3, 2009
The man jailed for life for the
murder of teenage model Sally Anne Bowman has lost a bid to challenge
Pub chef Mark Dixie, 38, was given a minimum term
of 34 years for the killing, in Croydon, south London.
Ms Bowman's near-naked body was found in the
driveway of her home in 2005. Dixie had stabbed her repeatedly before
having sex with her body.
The panel of three Court of Appeal judges said
Dixie's application to appeal was "entirely without merit".
Dixie was out celebrating his 35th birthday on the
night he killed the 18-year-old in an alcohol and cocaine-fuelled
Dixie, who had a string of sex convictions in
Britain and Australia - where he lived for six years - had denied the
Sally Anne's mother Linda and sister Nicole Chiddy
were in court to hear the ruling by Lord Justice Burnton, Mr Justice
Treacy and Mrs Justice Slade.
Afterwards, Ms Chiddy, 26, said the family had been
fearful of a technicality leading to Dixie's release.
She said: "This is the best thing that could have
"He should accept what he did and that he got what
he deserved. I hope this is the final chapter and he will rot in
Man gets life for model's murder
February 26, 2008
A man who murdered teenage model Sally Anne Bowman
outside her home has been sentenced to life in prison.
The 18-year-old's body was found next to a skip in
Croydon, south London, in September 2005.
Pub chef Mark Dixie, 37, was found guilty of her
murder and told he would have to serve a minimum of 34 years.
Miss Bowman's father, Paul, said: "Sally Anne, you
may have been taken from us, but rest assured you will forever be
missed and never forgotten."
During the three-week trial, Dixie denied the
charge. He claimed he found Miss Bowman dead after he had been on a
drink and drugs binge and had sex with her body.
Miss Bowman's family cheered as the verdict was
delivered by the jury foreman.
Dixie shook his head before being taken down to the
Her mother, Linda, tried to console her daughters,
while Miss Bowman's boyfriend Lewis Sproston wept with friends.
Speaking after the verdict, she said: "My heart
will never mend not even over time.
"I cannot understand why my baby girl was taken
from me in such a brutal and depraved way.
"I cannot understand why he killed her."
Judge Gerald Gordon told Dixie his conduct was
'Awful and repulsive'
"What you did that night was so awful and repulsive
that I do not propose to repeat it," he said.
"Your consequent conduct shows you had not the
slightest remorse for what you had done."
On the day of the murder, Dixie had spent a drug
and drink-filled day celebrating his 35th birthday. He went on the
prowl later that night.
He attacked a woman motorist whose mobile phone was
stolen before a taxi driver came to her aid.
Later, at about 0430 GMT, neighbours heard Miss
Dixie stabbed her repeatedly before having sex with
Police said Dixie enjoyed hearing details of his
crimes being re-told in court by his victims.
Det Supt Stuart Cundy said: "Dixie has made his
victims re-live horrific ordeals. He made Sally Anne's family sit
through horrific evidence."
At one point during the evidence Miss Bowman's
mother fled the court in tears.
Dixie had a string of previous convictions for sex
Detectives believe he may have targeted other women
while living in Australia. He lived there from 1993 to 1999 working as
a cook in bars and restaurants.
He was deported to England from Western Australia
after jumping out of a bush naked and making lewd suggestions to a
Det Supt Cundy said: "I am still convinced he has
done something somewhere in Australia."
It was only after British police made inquiries
following Dixie's arrest during a minor scuffle in a pub in Surrey
that his DNA was matched to an unsolved attempted murder and rape of a
student in Perth.
Mr Cundy said: "If there was a DNA register we
would have known who killed Sally Anne that day."
Police appealed for any victims to come forward so
they can receive counselling.
Man 'had sex with victim's body'
February 5, 2008
A man accused of murdering teenage
model Sally Anne Bowman confessed to having sex with her after she was
killed, a court has been told.
Miss Bowman, 18, was repeatedly stabbed and bitten
outside her home in Croydon, south London, in September 2005.
Chef Mark Dixie, 37, of no fixed address, denies
murdering Miss Bowman.
Prosecutor Brian Altman said: "The defendant
confesses that he had sex with Sally Anne and that he had sex with her
after her death."
The court heard Mr Dixie had said he had been
drinking, took drugs and had "taken advantage of the situation".
Mr Altman said: "That astonishingly is his defence.
It is born out of desperation."
Miss Bowman had been driven home after a night out
in Croydon Town Centre by her boyfriend Lewis Sproston at about 0400
BST, the court was told.
The couple began to argue as they sat in the car
outside Miss Bowman's house with each accusing the other of seeing
other people, Mr Altman added.
She had tried to stop Mr Sproston driving off by
sitting on the bonnet of the car, but as he left he had seen Sally
Anne walking into her drive.
Mr Altman said Mr Sproston believed someone had
been watching them and at one stage had "looked angrily" into the car.
Neighbours heard screams at about 0420 BST but it
was not until over two hours later that the "gruesome discovery" of
the model's body was made.
The defendant's DNA was found on Miss Bowman's
body, his bloody fingerprint on her shoe and his bite marks on her
cheek, neck and breast, the jury was told.
Mr Altman said Mr Dixie, a father of three and a
"recreational drug user", had a history of sexual violence.
The court was told that, at the age of 17, he
indecently assaulted a female Jehovah's Witness in London, and a match
to his DNA was found by police investigating the rape and stabbing of
a student in Perth, Western Australia.
He had been celebrating his 35th birthday drinking
and taking cocaine in a pub on the night Miss Bowman died, the court
The party later retired to a flat in Avondale Road,
two streets away from where Miss Bowman was killed.