Sheldon Flanighan murder: What happened at the Bay Horse Inn in Cramlington?

Sheldon Flanighan was run over and killed outside the Bay Horse Inn in Cramlington. Credit: Northumbria Police/ITV Tyne Tees

For almost five weeks a trial heard in horrifying detail how a Northumberland pub became the scene of the murder of a paramedic and the attempted murder of his friend of 40 years.

On the evening of 1 April this year, Sheldon Flanighan went out with friends for a meal and some drinks at the Bay Horse Inn, in Cramlington.

Later that evening Mr Flanighan, 55, was run over and killed in the pub car park and his good friend Wayne Common, 56, was also run over and left with life-long injuries.

Here is what Newcastle Crown Court heard.

During the trial, friend of the victims, Kevin Patterson, told the jury they had been enjoying a night out when a group of people at the bar became increasingly drunk and rowdy.

Opening the prosecution case, Christopher Tehrani KC said the “flame that lit the fire” that night was when sometime shortly before 10pm, Kelly and his girlfriend had been refused more drinks by bar staff at the Bay Horse Inn.

His girlfriend was, the jury heard, annoyed by this and reacted by pouring drinks and smashing glasses over the floor behind the bar.

  • CCTV from inside the Bay Horse Inn shows Kelly push a stack of beer mats onto the floor before his girlfriend pours drinks onto the bar floor. Credit: Northumbria Police

The court heard Kelly, who was said to have drunk up to nine pints of lager, was then seen on CCTV grappling with her on the floor.

As Kelly was fighting with his partner, the court heard Mr Flanighan and Mr Common tried to intervene, and the defendant shouted he would "kill" them.

Mr Tehrani had told the jury that it may have been the case that Mr Flanighan and his friend went outside to stop Kelly driving any vehicle away given the amount of alcohol he had consumed.

Or, he added, that they might have gone outside because they were concerned for the safety of Kelly's girlfriend.

Police at the scene of the Bay Horse Inn where Toby Kelly committed murder and attempted murder. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Outside the pub, Kelly was accused of revving the engine of his vehicle and making threats before driving at Mr Flanighan, wielding his van "as a weapon".

Mr Tehrani told the jury to “take a deep breath” before showing them images detailing his injuries which included fractures and a dislocation to his skull.

The father-of-two was pronounced dead at the scene where one of the paramedics who attended had apparently recognised him as working for the ambulance service.

Mr Common was also driven over but survived after being treated for injuries to his ribs and spleen. His injuries, the court was told, could have killed him.

Kelly was apprehended after a police pursuit.

  • CCTV shows a police car pursuing Kelly. In the next shot an officer gets out to approach the van but Kelly flees. Credit: Northumbria Police

Part way through the trial at Newcastle Crown Court, Kelly pleaded guilty to manslaughter and grievous bodily harm.

But the jury found him guilty of murder and attempted murder on 9 November.

Kelly, of Wansbeck Avenue, Blyth, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 28 years on Wednesday 15 November.

Kelly had claimed he had only meant to "frighten" the men and had not intended to kill or seriously harm them.

Nigel Edwards, defending, said: "He is a family man himself and has four children. He is sincerely sorry for the events of that day."

Toby Kelly was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 28 years for murder and attempted murder. Credit: Northumbria Police

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