A man who ran over a ‘kind and caring’ man following an argument in a pub has been sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 15 years, for his murder.
Craig Garton hit Dean Clark with his grey Ford Transit van after they had got into an argument while drinking in The Blacksmith Arms pub in Little Clacton on 7 February last year.
The jury at Garton’s trial were told that after the landlord had kicked both men out, Garton had driven at 41 year-old Dean who initially was able to move out of the way.
Garton then reversed his van and drove at him again, this time hitting him, and dragging him along the road.
Sadly, Dean (pictured below) was pronounced dead at the scene and Garton was arrested a short time later.
When questioned the 42 year-old, of Upper Branston Road, Clacton, told officers “I went out for a few drinks and ended up killing my mate”.
Dean’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 Dean had sustained traumatic chest injuries.
Garton denied murder but was found guilty on 10 March following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.
Today (Friday 26 March) he was sentenced to life with a minimum of 15 years at the same court.
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.”