A man was killed and a friend suffered life-threatening injuries when a van was deliberately driven at them in a pub car park, a jury was told today (Wednesday, October 11).

The driver of the Ford Transit van, 37-year-old Toby Kelly, was said to have known “exactly what he had done” as he did not remain at the scene, in the car park adjoining the Bay Horse pub, in Cramlington, Northumberland.

Newcastle Crown Court was told Kelly drove away and did not report the incident, which took place shortly after 10pm, on Saturday, April 1, this year.

He left his victims, Sheldon Flanighan and Wayne Common, both aged 55, prone on the ground suffering serious multiple injuries.

The Northern Echo:

Christopher Tehrani KC, prosecuting, said Mr Flanighan, an off-duty ambulance worker, was declared dead at the scene, shortly after 10.20pm.

The paramedic who had been trying to save Mr Flanighan’s life, and who, ultimately, declared him dead, recognised him as being employed by the ambulance service.

Read more: Three arrested in murder inquiry after man dies outside North East pub

Mr Tehrani said he had suffered “multiple catastrophic injuries”, after being knocked down by the reversing van, before it was then driven over him as Kelly made off in haste.

Mr Common also suffered serious extensive injuries, including to his spleen and four left-hand side rib fractures, which were considered potentially life-threatening at the time.

Opening the case to the jury, Mr Tehrani said: “The prosecution submits Sheldon Flanighan’s death and Wayne Common’s serious injuries were not due to a terrible unavoidable accident.

“The prosecution submits it was clearly unlawful and could not be described as a terrible unavoidable accident.

“He (the defendant) knew exactly what he had done because he did not remain at the scene and drove the van away, pursued by a marked police vehicle for approximately four miles before being stopped.

“You may wish to ask yourself why did he not stop, and, if it was all an unfortunate accident, why did he not remain at the scene or drive a short distance and call the authorities himself.”

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The jury was shown cctv from within the pub which showed the defendant with his “on/off” partner and another man behaving in a disorderly manner slightly earlier in the evening.

Kelly was seen flinging a pile of beer mats behind the bar and his partner poured the remains of drinks onto the floor, before smashing the glasses.

Mr Tehrani said this was after they had been told they would not be served any more drinks, by the acting manager.

Kelly and his partner were then seen grappling on the floor of the pub, and Mr Common was seen going over to where they were, where he was hugged by the defendant’s friend.

As events moved out into the car park the van could be seen driving up and down where Mr Common and Mr Flanighan had gone out, which Mr Tehrani said may have been in a bid to stop the defendant driving due to the amount of alcohol he had consumed.

One witness said it appeared that he (Kelly) was trying to strike the men and he was heard to say they would not be seeing their family again.

After both Mr Flanighan and Mr Common were struck by the van it left the car park.

When it was later seen about four miles away in the Blyth area, it appeared that Kelly had swapped places in the driving seat, letting his friend drive.

By the time it was stopped and both Kelly and his partner were arrested, the other man had fled the scene, but he was arrested later.

During the course of four interviews with police Kelly claimed he got into the van in a bid to flee the other two men as he had come under attack from them.

He said he was unaware if he had struck one of them or driven over them.

Read next:

Tributes paid to ambulance worker killed outside Cramlington pub

Sheldon Flanighan death outside Cramlington pub: two verdicts recorded

Man accused of killing ambulance worker outside Cramlington pub

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When footage was shown from the pub foyer of the van apparently being driven up and down in the pub car park, Kelly’s response was he had consumed alcohol and it was, “all just a blur now”.

Kelly, now 38, of Wansbesk Avenue, Blyth, denies the murder of Mr Flanighan and the attempted murder of Mr Common.

On the conclusion of Mr Tehrani's case opening, Judge Penny Moreland adjoured the hearing until Monday (October 16), when the prosecution evidence will begin to be presented to the jury.