A MAN found guilty of murder after deliberately running over an off-duty ambulance worker has been handed a life sentence.
Toby Kelly was last week found guilty of the murder of Sheldon Flanighan and the attempted murder of Mr Flanighan's friend, Wayne Common.
At Newcastle Crown Court today, Kelly was told he will serve a minimum of 28 years in prison.
Speaking after the sentencing, DCI Dave Johnson of Northumbria Police revealed how 'despicable' Kelly had laughed and joked after learning of Mr Flanighan's death.
On April 1 this year, Mr Flanighan and Mr Common were at the Bay Horse in Cramlington, Northumberland, when they saw an altercation between Kelly and his associate Shannon Wooden.
After offering their assistance to Wooden, Kelly became angry and was asked to leave, along with Wooden and another man, David Fairclough.
The trio then got into Kelly's van and as Mr Flanighan and Mr Common left the premises, Kelly drove into them, inflicting catastrophic injuries, before cowardly leaving the area.
Paramedics and officers attended but despite their best efforts, the 55-year-old father-of-two sadly died at the scene.
Mr Common was taken to hospital and has been left with long-term injuries.
Kelly was later arrested and charged with Mr Flanighan's murder and the attempted murder of Mr Common, which he denied.
3/3 Jurors were also shown this clip of Kelly mocking officers, lying & laughing after learning of Sheldon's death.
❌Disgusting behaviour & we're pleased Kelly has a long jail term to think about all the unnecessary pain and suffering he's caused.
— Northumbria Police (@northumbriapol) November 15, 2023
However, during the trial at Newcastle Crown Court, jurors heard damning evidence of his shocking behaviour.
They were also shown body-worn video footage of him laughing and joking moments after learning of Mr Flanighan's death.
Midway through the hearing, Kelly attempted to enter a plea of manslaughter but was last week found guilty of murder and attempted murder.
'Joking and lying'
"Kelly behaved in a despicable manner that night," said DCI Johnston following today's sentencing.
"The jury heard details of his aggression towards Wooden inside the bar, before he chose to drive into Sheldon and Wayne.
"Even when we arrested him for causing Sheldon's death, our body-worn video footage captured him joking and lying to officers about who the driver was.
"I am pleased that Kelly has a long prison term ahead of him.
"I hope he uses the opportunity to seriously think about all the unnecessary pain and suffering he has caused due to his inexcusable anger."
Kelly, of Wansbeck Avenue in Blyth, must serve a minimum term of 28 years for Mr Flanighan's murder and 13 years and 149 days for the attempted murder of Mr Common.
The sentences will be served concurrently.
He will also be banned from driving for three years following his release from prison.
Wooden and Fairclough were also arrested and charged but the case against them was later dropped and no further action taken.