|Born||Mark Philip Dixie
24 September 1970
Streatham, London, UK
|Other names||Mark Down
|Criminal penalty||Life imprisonment with a minimum term of 34 years|
Mark Phillip Dixie (born 24 September 1970) is a British chef who was convicted on 22 February 2008 of murdering 18-year-old model Sally Anne Bowman on 25 September 2005 in South Croydon, London. He has 17 other criminal convictions.
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 in Stockwell in 1986, for which he was sentenced to six weeks' detention. In 1987, he moved to Sidcup and was convicted of burglary and robbery. In 1988, he was convicted of indecent assault and indecent exposure and sentenced to two years' probation. Later in 1988, he was convicted of indecent assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. In 1989, he was convicted of indecent exposure and sentenced to 80 hours community service. In 1990, he was convicted of assaulting a police officer.
Dixie has three sons, the youngest was born in 2003.
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 in a pub 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.
In 2007, the DNA of Dixie was matched to the rape of a woman in Fuengirola, Spain, in August 2003. A Dutchman – Romano van der Dussen – however was already sentenced to 15 years in prison for this rape and two sexual assaults that were committed nearby and in the same way as the rape. As late as 2015, Romano van der Dussen was still in prison and Dixie was not as yet charged with the rape In June 2015 the Dutch newspaper the Volkskrant reported that Dixie confessed to this rape, but not to the two sexual assaults.
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 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
- Henry, Emma (22 February 2008). "Mark Dixie guilty of Sally Anne Bowman murder". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- Guardian profile
- Grant, Rachel (22 February 2008). "Killer kept friends at a distance". BBC News. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- Gammell, Caroline (12 April 2008). "Mark Dixie: 20 years of sexual violence". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Woman 'stabbed by murder suspect'". BBC News. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Man 'had sex with victim's body'". BBC News. 5 February 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Onschuldig veroordeelde: Ik houd dit niet vol". 7 January 2011.
- "I've been through an indescribable hell — the worst 4,000 days of my life". 13 June 2015.
- "Man gets life for model's murder". BBC News. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Mandatory DNA database rejected". BBC News. 23 February 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2014.