Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Thursday, 12 May 2005 18:06 UK

Man guilty of showjumper murder

Tania Moore
Mark Dyche has been convicted of Tania Moore's murder

A gun fanatic who rammed a talented showjumper's car off the road and shot her in the face after being jilted has been found guilty of her murder.

Mark Dyche, 36, plagued Tania Moore, 26, with chilling text messages and stalked her during a year-long hate campaign, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

He also threatened to gouge her eyes out after she ended their engagement.

He shot Ms Moore at point blank range after running her off a country lane near her home in Alkmonton, Derbys.

Dyche, a digger driver, from Marston Montgomery, Derbyshire, was convicted of the murder which took place on 29 March last year.

He was also found guilty of conspiracy to rob the young equestrian. He had denied all charges.

He stalked her, robbed her, threatened her, stole from her and finally killed her. It was he who pulled the trigger
Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting

The court heard Dyche, who lived with his mother in Thurvaston Road, had a history of stalking women and had threatened his former wife at knifepoint 10 years earlier.

On the night of the murder, Dyche picked up his accomplice, Colin Colley, of Waterside Drive, Newstead, Stoke, who believed he had been hired to help "scare" Miss Moore.

Colley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm at an earlier hearing, before Dyche's trial started.

The pair drove to a farm near her home and riding stables. They dressed in white pesticide suits and balaclavas before Dyche donned his ex-fiancee's favourite riding jacket, with her name emblazoned across it.

'Take the blame'

They waited in a gateway for her to finish a lesson. Dyche was driving as they crashed into her car, ramming her into a hedge.

Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, said Dyche smashed the driver's window and shot her in the face.

He burnt the getaway vehicle and asked his new girlfriend, Helen Smith, to pick them up and give him a false alibi, saying he had been with her all night.

The court heard Dyche offered Colley 50,000 to take the blame for the shooting.

Mr Joyce told the jury: "He wanted her hurting. He wanted her legs breaking. He wanted her eyes gouging out.

"He wanted to be in control. He stalked her, robbed her, threatened her, stole from her and finally killed her. It was he who pulled the trigger."

Instant death

She died almost instantly after the shooting. She was found lying across both seats with her head against the passenger door.

Dyche claimed she had been "spreading rumours" about him after the break-up and she stole 30,000 from him - an allegation he later retracted.

Friends said he repeatedly threatened to kill her, followed her, sent hundreds of text messages to Ms Moore and her friends, and warned men to stay away.

Police arrested him for harassment in the year after they split up. He was bound over to keep the peace by magistrates and released.

The jury has yet to reach a verdict on co-defendant Jason Bloor, 32, from Kendrick Street, Longton, Stoke, who was also charged with conspiracy to rob Ms Moore. The jury will return on Friday morning.

Craig Stonier, 41, John Booth, 23, and a 17-year-old, all from Stoke, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob and gave evidence for the prosecution.

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12 May 05 |  Derbyshire
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