Man guilty of murder ran over friend after pub argument

Craig Garton was found guilty of murder after running over a friend following an argument in a pub.

Craig Garton was found guilty of murder after running over a friend following an argument in a pub. - Credit: ESSEX POLICE

A man who ran over and killed his friend following an argument in a pub has been convicted of murder.

Craig Garton, 42, of Upper Branston Road, Clacton, was today found guilty of running over and killing Dean Clark in February last year following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Garton and his friend Mr Clark were drinking in The Blacksmith Arms pub in Little Clacton on the evening of February 7 when they got into an argument at around 11pm.

After both men were kicked out of the pub by the landlord, Garton got into his grey Ford Transit van and drove at 41-year-old Mr Clark.

At his trial, the court heard how Mr Clark moved out of the way but Garton reversed his van and drove at him again.

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This time he hit him, trapping him underneath the van. Garton then drove off dragging Mr Clark down the road.

Mr Clark was pronounced dead at the scene and a post-mortem examination later showed him to have traumatic chest injuries.

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Garton was arrested a short time later and a breath test showed he was over the drink-drive limit.

While in custody Garton told officers: “I went out for a few drinks and ended up killing my mate.”

He was later charged with murder, which he denied.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Julie Gowen, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This is a tragic incident where an argument has escalated to murder.

“Dean Clark was a much-loved family man whose death has left a huge hole in the lives of his friends and family.

“A moment of drink-fuelled rage has had catastrophic consequences.

“It is clear from Garton’s actions he intended to do Dean harm, attempting to run him over once and when that failed, reversing and trying again.

“Garton now faces a life sentence.

“I want to praise the courage of Dean’s family throughout this process and while nothing can bring him back, I hope this result provides them with some justice.”

Garton is scheduled to be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on March 26.

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