A jury today (Thursday November 9) returned guilty verdicts on a man accused of drunkenly driving at and over an off-duty ambulance worker and his friend in a pub car park.

Toby Kelly, who midway through his four-week trial at Newcastle Crown Court, admitted Sheldon Flanighan's manslaughter, will now be sentenced next week both for his murder and the attempted murder of Wayne Common.

The two men, who had been drinking with another friend at the Bay Horse pub in Cramlington, on Saturday April 1, went outside to prevent Kelly driving his Ford Transit van from the car park due to the amount he had clearly had to drink.

But Kelly, who was already enraged by his girlfriend's behaviour in the pub minutes earlier, drove erratically around the car park, striking both men and driving over them, before leaving and heading away from the scene.

The Northern Echo: Toby Kelly, 38, found guilty of the murder of Sheldon Flanighanj and attempted murder of Wayne

Mr Flanighan, 55, was declared dead by paramedic colleagues who recognised him as a fellow ambulance service worker while unsuccessfully trying to save his life at the scene.

He died from blunt force head injury caused by the van having been driven over him, but he suffered numerous other wounds and injuries in the incident shortly after 10pm that night.

Mr Common, also then 55, was also knocked over and suffered blunt force injury, including a laceration of the spleen and rib fractures, a combination of which the court was told could have proved fatal.

He survived but spent several days in hospital and has little memory of the events immediately preceding the incident in the pub car park, although he could recall being at the pub earlier in the evening.

The Northern Echo:

Kelly, 37, of Wansbeck Avenue, Blyth, was arrested by police back in his home town, more than four miles from the scene of the incident, about an hour later.

He and two friends he had been drinking with at the Bay Horse that evening were all arrested and accused of Mr Flanighan’s murder and the attempted murder of Mr Common.

But the charges were subsequently dropped against 28-year-old Shannon Wooden, also of Blyth, and David Fairclough, 32, of Newbiggin-by-Sea.

Kelly, who conceded he was well over the drink-drive limit, claimed he was trying to frighten off Mr Flanighan and Mr Common by his erratic driving in the car park, but he said he did not intend to hit them, and when he drove from the pub he claimed he was unaware he had done so.

The court was told he had been under investigation for potential dangerous driving over a previous incident, outside a Blyth nightclub, in which he drove aggressively towards people and a member of door staff ended on his bonnet, in July last year.

Almost 24-hours after being sent out to begin its deliberations, the jury returned with its verdicts at 2.30pm today (Thursday November 9).

Judge Penny Moreland asked for no audible responses to the verdicts from onlookers in the public gallery, but after the first verdict of guilty was greeted with some reaction, those responsible were asked to leave court.

The foreman of the jury then returned the second guilty verdict, to the charge of attempted murder.

Judge Moreland thanked the members of the jury for their work and said they could leave court as she did not intend to pass sentence today.

A suitable date for the sentencing of Kelly was agreed by both counsel and the judge for Wednesday next week, November 15.

Judge Moreland said the defendant should be produced from prison to hear his sentence being passed.

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She told him: "As you have heard, I will sentence you for the offences of which the jury have convicted you, on Wednesday next week.

"That concludes the hearing for today and you may go with the dock officers," she added, before he was led to the cells to be returned to custody, pending next week's sentence.

Judge Moreland asked for victim statements from members of Mr Flanighan's family and from Mr Common, plus counsels' submissions as to sentence, to be passed on to the court ahead of the sentencing hearing.