Friend tells jury ambulance worker Sheldon Flanighan was killed almost immediately in incident outside Cramlington pub

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An ambulance worker who was allegedly mowed down in a pub car park after he had been for drinks was killed almost immediately, his friend has told jurors.

Sheldon Flanighan had been socialising with Wayne Common and Kevin Patterson on April 1 this year, at the Bay Horse Inn in Cramlington, Northumberland.

But tragedy struck when Mr Flanighan and Mr Common were deliberately run over by Toby Kelly, it is claimed.

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Prosecutors say that Kelly had hit Mr Flanighan by reversing over him, before striking him again by driving forwards onto his body.

Cramlington man Sheldon Flanighan died outside The Bay Horse on April 1.Cramlington man Sheldon Flanighan died outside The Bay Horse on April 1.
Cramlington man Sheldon Flanighan died outside The Bay Horse on April 1.

Paramedics rushed to the scene but the 55-year-old, who worked for the North East Ambulance Service, sustained skull fractures, a broken leg, multiple fractured ribs and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Common suffered life-threatening injuries but survived.

Kelly, 38, of Wansbeck Avenue, Blyth, denies murder and attempted murder and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mr Patterson, who took to the stand today, Tuesday, October 17, told the court he had been greeting the group's lift, who had arrived to pick them up before the fatal incident at around 10pm.

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He began by telling jurors he had noticed Kelly, along with a man and a woman, acting "erratic" in the bar area earlier in the evening.

He said: "They would be laughing and carrying on and then suddenly they would be squabbling, that would be the pattern of the night.

"I think as the night went on it got a little more aggressive but I was not really taking much notice of them."

Mr Patterson said the tension grew after the group were refused any more alcohol.

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He told jurors he then saw Kelly drag the female by her foot towards the exit of the pub.

The witness said shortly afterwards he headed outside to greet a man who was there to collect him, Mr Flanighan, and Mr Common.

However, as he turned around in the car park, Mr Patterson said he heard the transit van revving its engine close to Wayne who was stood with his arms folded.

He told jurors: "The van was driving erratically. I said (to the lift) get yourself away, something is going to happen.

"I saw Sheldon walking behind the back of the van."

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Prosecutor Christopher Tehrani KC asked: "Do you know what happened next?"

Mr Patterson answered: "I never seen it.

"I think Wayne was lying on the ground when Sheldon was back around the van."

Mr Tehrani asked: "Were you able to see who the driver in the van was?"

Mr Patterson said: "No. I did not hear anything. I just remember concentrating on Wayne.

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"I seen Sheldon behind the van when Wayne went from standing in front of the van to lying in front of it.

"I screamed and started shouting. I was shouting, 'What have you done? Have you run him over?'"

Mr Tehrani asked: "What did the van then do?" Mr Patterson replied: "He then turned and sped off.

"I ran over (to Wayne) and he was lying on his back and he was breathing but it was a gurgle.

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"I shouted, 'It is Kevin, if you can hear me make a noise.’ I worked on the oil rigs so I have got a bit of first-aid training, so I thought I am not going to put him in the recovery position in case he has got a spinal injury."

When asked at what point he saw Sheldon, Mr Patterson said: "He was lying flat on his back and he had his hands crossed along his chest.

"I didn't know if someone had put them there out of respect and I just knew there was no life there.

"I then ran back to Wayne and that was when the blue lights came."

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Mr Tehrani asked: "When you saw Sheldon did he appear to be breathing?" Mr Patterson responded: "No. I thought he was dead."

Nigel Edwards KC, representing Kelly, asked Mr Patterson if he had seen a confrontation in the car park between the driver of the van and Mr Common.

He replied: "I would say so, yes, but I never seen it or heard what was being said."

Mr Edwards responded by asking: "Would I be right in suggesting had Wayne just simply walked back towards the pub that van would have driven off without any problems?"

Mr Patterson answered: "I don't know, I can't answer that one."

The trial continues.