Cramlington pub murder trial: Jury considers verdict over Sheldon Flanighan death

Bay Horse trial
Sheldon Flanighan died outside the Bay Horse Inn, in Cramlington, on 1 April 2023. Credit: ITV/Northumbria Police

A jury is considering its verdict in the trial of a man accused of murdering an off duty ambulance worker by running him over.

Toby Kelly, 38, is on trial accused of the murder of 55-year-old Sheldon Flanighan on 1 April this year.

He is also accused of the attempted murder of Wayne Common, 56, who was also involved in the incident in the car park of the Bay Horse pub, in Cramlington.

Kelly, of Wansbeck Avenue, Blyth, has denied those charges but admitted to the manslaughter of Mr Flanighan and causing grievous bodily harm.

He is accused of driving over both men as they tried to prevent him from driving away from the pub at about 10pm on 1 April this year.

Kelly claims he was trying to "frighten" the men by driving towards them.

Jurors were sent out to consider their verdicts shortly after 2:30pm on Wednesday 8 November.

Newcastle Crown Court has heard that Mr Flanighan and Mr Common, who were regulars at the Bay Horse and were known to bar staff, had been out for a meal and drinks on the night of the incident.

During the trial, jurors were told Mr Flanighan was described as “always really nice” while Mr Common, 56, was said to be a “nice and caring” man who had “never caused any problems”.

The court was told Kelly was involved in an incident inside the pub and had become angry after bar staff had refused to serve his group more drinks.

Jurors were also told about a further disturbance where Kelly dragged his girlfriend by her legs, which led to an intervention by Mr Flanighan and Mr Common.

After going out to the car park, the court heard Kelly had pulled his girlfriend into the van and had driven erratically and dangerously around the car park.

A number of witnesses described seeing the van being driven towards the pub and it moving backwards and forwards on a number of occasions.

Mr Flanighan and Mr Common had been trying to “de-escalate” the situation and were trying to prevent the men from drink-driving, one witness told the court.

Summing up Kelly's defence on Wednesday, Nigel Edwards KC said his client had not intended to kill or seriously harm the men.

Referring to Mr Flanighan’s death, he told the jury: “It was because of Mr Kelly’s actions but it was tragic and it wasn’t what he intended. He did not intend to cause the death, which was the upshot of what he did.”

Mr Edwards said Kelly had intended to "frighten" the men.

The trial continues.

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