Date: 15 Mar 2001
Place: Sidney Street, Grantham
Ian Michael Dowling was found shot dead in his home.
He was shot in the heart and lungs after going to the door to answer a knock. After being shot he was able to stumble into his kitchen and died later that evening.
Three people were tried for his murder. Two of them were acquitted whilst a third man, his best friend, was convicted of conspiracy to murder but had his conviction later quashed after it was heard that the police had used illegal surveillance and as such, the conviction was unsafe. It was said that the police had illegally recorded conversations that the man had had with his solicitor in the exercise yard at Sleaford police station.
It was said that Ian Dowling had been seeing another man's wife, a 36-year-old school dinner lady, and that she had told her husband, the man that was convicted of conspiracy to murder, by a text message via her phone, that their 13-year marriage was over and that the man had then conspired to murder Ian Dowling by hiring a man to shoot him. He was said to have orchestrated the killing with underworld criminals.
The school dinner lady left her husband and went to live with Ian Dowling at a house on Sidney Street and that she took their three children with her.
The court heard that Ian Dowling and the man convicted of conspiracy to murder had exchanged heated text messages via their telephones whilst trying to vie for the affections of Ian Dowling's wife beforehand.
The husband admitted that he had taken part in a conspiracy to assault Ian Dowling in early 2001 but said that he had called it off. He said that he thought that Ian Dowling had been shot by criminal contacts of his, and that his shooting was related to drugs.