Friend of alleged murder victim has 'no memory' of attack at Cramlington pub, trial hears

Sheldon Flanighan died at the scene outside the Bay Horse Inn, in Cramlington.
Sheldon Flanighan died at the scene outside the Bay Horse Inn, in Cramlington. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees/Northumbria Police

A man whose close friend was allegedly murdered when he was run over by a van has said he doesn’t know if it’s "a good thing or a bad thing" that he has "no memory" of the attack.

Toby Kelly, 38, is on trial, accused of using a blue transit van "like a weapon" to kill Sheldon Flanighan on 1 April this year.

A jury at Newcastle Crown Court was shown a video interview of Wayne Common, 56, who was also injured in the incident in the car park of the Bay Horse pub in Cramlington.

Kelly is also accused of attempting to murder Mr Common in the incident. He denies the two charges.

In the week after the alleged attack, Mr Common spoke to officers while sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a hospital gown.

Mr Common, who needed stitches on the back of his head and on his right foot, said he had also suffered a split liver and had bruises all over his body.

Asked by officers if he recalled how he’d got the injuries, he said he couldn't remember.

He said: “Just what I’ve heard. That the van’s run us over and reversed back over. I cannot remember that. If I didn’t speak to anybody and I woke up like this, I wouldn’t have known what had happened.”

“Everything’s just a blank,” added Mr Common, who said he had been friends with Sheldon Flanighan for 25 years. “I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I wish sometimes I could remember, and sometimes I’m pleased I cannot.”

Prosecution barrister Christopher Tehrani KC previously told the jury that Kelly was “using his van as a weapon”.

It is claimed Kelly reversed over Sheldon Flanighan before driving forward over him again, and that Mr Common was also knocked down by Kelly.

Mr Common described seeing two men and a woman “acting stupid” earlier in the night. They “just didn't give a monkeys about anyone else bar themselves,” he said, “I just knew they were trouble”.

Later, he described seeing an altercation between the two men “swearing at each other" and "just slagging each other off”.

The jury was also shown CCTV of Toby Kelly and his two drinking partners, David Fairclough and Shannon Wooden, in the Bay Horse pub in Cramlington before the alleged incident outside.

Ms Wooden was shown pouring pints of beer and smashing glasses behind the bar after the group became involved in an argument with the bar manager.

CCTV also appeared to show Mr Kelly and Ms Wooden involved in a physical altercation, with Ms Wooden pulling Mr Kelly to the floor of the pub.

The pair were shown leaving the pub, followed by Mr Flanighan and Mr Common, and a short while later, a camera filming through a window into the pub car park showed a blue van driving backwards and forwards.

Kelly denies the charges against him and the trial continues.

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