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08th Dec 2022

Man nicknamed ‘Jesus’ killed love rival on 13 Feb after pledging to ‘be with Louise by Valentine’s Day’

Steve Hopkins

Meadows wrote the pledge in a list of ‘Goals for 2022’.

A killer nicknamed ‘Jesus’ because of his long hair has been found guilty of murdering his older love rival the day before Valentine’s Day.

Mark Meadows is now facing life in prison after a jury convicted him for stabbing to death Keith Green, 40.

A trial at Oxford Crown Court heard the 25-year-old had been “encouraged” by his lover, Green’s partner Louise Grieve, 38, to carry out the killing.

She was cleared of his murder on Thursday but found guilty of an alternative charge of manslaughter.

Meadows’ brother, Travis Gorton, 20, who helped stab Green to death in the garden of his home in Howard Road, Banbury, was also found guilty of murder. A youth, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was convicted of manslaughter.

And a fifth defendant, Louise Grieve’s son, 21-year-old Callum Johnson, was cleared of murder.

The court heard Meadows carried out the killing on 13 February this year after pledging to “be with Louise by Valentine’s Day”.

Meadows wrote the pledge in a list of ‘Goals for 2022’.

Prosecutor Vanessa Marshall KC told jurors that the romantic resolution was found during a police search of his flat three days after the fatal knifing. Other goals included ‘be healthy’ and ‘get out of debt’.

Be with Louise was the top goal.

During the lengthy trial, jurors heard that Green was stabbed or slashed 11 times in his back garden.

Prosecutors claimed that Meadows and Gorton had lain in wait for him to finish a shower, having turned off CCTV in the shed where he was sleeping.

The brothers, Grieve and the youth had been at the Pepper Pot pub, round the corner from the house, on the night of the killing.

The brothers got back in Meadows’ white Amazon delivery van and drove back to his flat in Rees Court, on the other side of town.

One of the murder weapons – a blue knife that belonged to Louise Grieve and which Meadows had bought her in a Leeds shop six months earlier – was found in a drain next to the passenger door of the parked van.

The other knife, which Meadows was said to have been seen wearing on his belt in the immediate aftermath of the stabbing, was later discovered stashed in a speaker next to the killer’s bed.

Detectives uncovered a web of messages between Meadows, Grieve and the youth linking them to what prosecutors said was a plan to “get rid” of Green.

Meadows, who was attacked by Green the previous September, had also searched the internet for how to buy handguns on the dark web.

The trial heard Meadows had referred to Green as “one big problem,” months before his death.

Prosecutor Vanessa Marshall KC said Meadows and Grieve had been involved in a fling since at least the summer of 2021, setting off a tragic chain of events. Meadows and Grieve had travelled to Leeds in August 2021, early into their fling, where Meadows paid almost £60 for two knives.

His ex-partner later told police she had thought he bought the knives “to keep him safe”, due to his keen interest in US zombie apocalypse TV drama The Walking Dead.

The jury heard how Grieve and Green shared two children, but that their relationship was on-off over the autumn and winter of last year.

Green had even moved out to a friend’s flat, until Grieve showed up at the property before Christmas and asked him to return home.

Meanwhile, Marshall told the court how Grieve continued her affair with Meadows and that the pair sent messages expressing their “love” and met secretly.

Grieve allegedly “fuelled” her lover’s hatred towards her partner, insinuating that he had hit her. In September 2021, Green had found Meadows in his property, and struck him.

In messages to his sister on September 26, Meadows said he “Took three [punches],” and he had also told his half-brother that  Green had “wanted him dead.”

On October 27, he described his love rival as “one big problem that’s in the way”, and the animosity continued over Christmas when he allegedly spoke to his brother about “sourcing one”, suggested to be a reference to a gun by Marshall.

His former housemate and colleague at Amazon, Ryan Cope, also said that he had tried to buy a firearm on the Dark Web and in early February he allegedly told his housemate that he had bought a gun for £150.

A friend of Green’s, Paul Knowles, described his late pal as one of the kindest people you could imagine.

“He would do anything for anybody. I’ve known Keith for about 20 years,” he said. “Ever since then we’ve been like brothers. We were always together and saw each other almost every day.”

Remanding the adult defendants into custody to return to Oxford Crown Court for sentence on January 6, Judge Ian Pringle KC said: “You have all been convicted of very serious offences.

“Mark Meadows and Travis Gorton, your sentences are fixed by law [murder carries a life sentence]. I need to determine in due course the tariff – the length of the period you will serve in prison.”

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