Sheldon Flanigan death: Defendant wanted to ‘scare’ victims
A DRIVER accused of killing a man in a pub car park only intended to “scare” him but his plans went “horribly wrong”, a court has heard.
Off-duty ambulance worker Sheldon Flanigan died and his friend Wayne Common was seriously injured when they were run over outside the Bay Horse Inn in Cramlington in April.
Toby Kelly, 38, He admitted manslaughter But he denies murder and attempted murder.
Skid marks show he did not mean to hit the men, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
The court heard how Mr Kelly became angry and attacked his girlfriend after staff at the bar refused to serve him and his friends any more drinks on April 1 this year.
Flanigan, 55, and Common, who were dining with another friend, tried to intervene, but Kelly eventually drove off to his truck.
Mr Kelly, who drank up to nine pints of beer, was filmed on CCTV driving around the pub’s car park before colliding with Mr Flanigan and Mr Common as they stepped out to catch their lift home.
Prosecutors said Mr. Kelly was “boiling” Because he “felt insulted” when the men tried to break up the fight inside the bar.
In his closing remarks to the jury, Nigel Edwards, representing Mr Kelly, said the events in the car park were a “tragedy beyond measure”, but “what happened was not something that was supposed to happen”.
He said the description given of Mr Kelly’s actions “does not paint a picture of someone you would want to go for a drink with”, but the two men did not witness the start of the altercation inside the pub – which Mr Kelly was at. His lawyer said that his girlfriend attacked him.
Edwards described the two victims, who had also been drinking, as “a couple of old-school guys” seeking to do what they thought was “the right thing” and trying to put an end to “what seems to be happening.”
“The problem with a lot of this is it’s about perceptions, it’s about errors, it’s about errors, it’s about misunderstandings,” Edwards told the court.
“It’s all his fault”
Edwards said it was understood the victims stood in front of the truck to prevent Kelly from driving under the influence.
He said Mr Kelly “admittedly” drove his car at them “to frighten them”, but braking marks found at the scene were “pointing to the fact that he did not do so”. [sic] You want to hit them.”
Edwards said Kelly, who had been smoking strong cannabis during the evening, admitted he had driven the car in a “completely ridiculous and dangerous” way, but added that Kelly “didn’t want to cause injury, because if he did, what would happen?” Point in braking?”
Edwards said there were “obviously times when he was using that truck as a weapon to scare people” and things went “terribly” and it was “entirely his fault” – but he had no intention of hurting anyone.
Mr Kelly, of Wansbeck Avenue, Blyth, denied any crimes but admitted manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm during the trial.
The trial continues.