Man killed friend by running him over in 'drink-fuelled' pub row

10 March 2021, 23:43

Craig Garton has been found guilty of the murder of his friend Dean Clark
Craig Garton has been found guilty of the murder of his friend Dean Clark. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

A man who killed his friend by running him over with a van in a "drink-fuelled" rage after a pub argument has been found guilty of murder.

Craig Garton, 42, drove his grey Ford Transit van at 41-year-old Dean Clark after they were both kicked out of The Blacksmiths Arms pub in Little Clacton in Essex at around 11pm on February 7 last year.

Mr Clark moved out of the way but Garton reversed at him, trapping him under the van, then drove off dragging him along the road.

Mr Clark, who was described by his partner as a "kind, caring man", died at the scene of traumatic chest injuries.

Garton denied murder but jurors at Chelmsford Crown Court found him guilty on Wednesday, Essex Police said.

The defendant, of Upper Branston Road, Clacton, told officers after he was arrested: "I went out for a few drinks and ended up killing my mate."

A breath test showed he was over the drink-drive alcohol limit.

Craig Garton, 42, could be facing a life sentence
Craig Garton, 42, could be facing a life sentence. Picture: PA
Mr Clark, who was described by his partner as a "kind, caring man", died at the scene of traumatic chest injuries
Mr Clark, who was described by his partner as a "kind, caring man", died at the scene of traumatic chest injuries. Picture: PA

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 due to be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on March 26.