Clacton murderer jailed for killing 'kind and caring' family man in pub argument

mugshot and family tribute to Dean Clark

Craig Garton has been jailed for Dean Clark's murder in Little Clacton - Credit: Essex police

A murderer who ran over a "kind and caring" man following an argument in a Little Clacton pub has been jailed.

Craig Garton was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 15 years at Chelmsford Crown Court today.

Garton of Upper Branston Road, Clacton was convicted of hitting Dean Clark with his grey Ford Transit van during a hearing on March 10 at the same court. 

The two had got into an argument while drinking in The Blacksmith Arms pub in Little Clacton on February 7 last year.

The landlord had kicked both men out, the court heard during the trial. And Garton, 42, had driven at 41-year-old Mr Clark, who was able to move out of the way.

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Garton then reversed his van and drove at him again, this time hitting him, and dragging him along the road.

Sadly, Mr Clark was pronounced dead at the scene and Garton was arrested a short time later.

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When questioned Garton, told Essex police officers: “I went out for a few drinks and ended up killing my mate."

Mr Clark’s family said in a statement following his death how he would “always help anyone out if he could” and that he “left a massive hole in our lives”.

His partner described him as “the love of my life”.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Clark had sustained traumatic chest injuries.

Senior investigating officer detective chief Inspector Julie Gowen, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Dean Clark’s death has had a huge impact on his friends and family and no sentence will ever bring him back.

“They have shown incredible courage throughout the investigation and trial and I want to praise them for their bravery.

“I hope this sentence represents justice for them and will help them to move forward.

“Craig Garton’s actions, fuelled by drink, have robbed Dean’s family of a future with him.

“It is clear he intended to do Dean harm. After failing to hit him once, he reversed and tried again.

“He will now spend a significant amount of time behind bars.”

Mr Clark's family has asked for privacy during this time. 

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