Mark Phillip Dixie (born 24 September 1970) is a British chef who was convicted on 22 February 2008 of murdering eighteen-year-old model Sally Anne Bowman on 25 September 2005 in South Croydon, London.
Dixie was born in Streatham, London. His parents separated when he was 18 months old. When he was eight, his mother remarried; she had two sons by her new husband. He admits to having been a heavy drinker and user of cannabis and cocaine for years. He has a long criminal record. His first conviction was for robbery - he mugged a woman at knifepoint, for which he was sentenced to six weeks' detention.
Sally Anne Bowman had been stabbed to death yards from her home after a night out with friends. Dixie worked at the Ye Old Six Bells in Horley, Surrey. His DNA was taken when he was arrested in neighbouring town Crawley, West Sussex, after being involved in a fight while watching a World Cup football match, and matched with that of Bowman's killer.
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 Sally Anne Bowman, an unnamed Thai woman gave evidence that Dixie had stabbed and raped her in Australia in 1998; Dixie has yet to be formally charged with this attack, though a DNA sample from the woman's underwear has been matched to him. Dixie denied the murder but, as part of his defence, claimed that he had spent the night on drink and 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 was found guilty of Bowman's murder on 22 February 2008 and was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Old Bailey, where the trial judge recommended that Dixie should not be released for a 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.
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 done." 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.
- The killer on the doorstep
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