Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

GUILTY; Teenager Convicted of Grandad's Murder RON SHARPLES MURDER TRIAL

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

GUILTY; Teenager Convicted of Grandad's Murder RON SHARPLES MURDER TRIAL

Article excerpt


A TEENAGER was today facing a life sentence after being found guilty of the murder of popular Marske dad and grandfather Ron Sharples.

Declan Paul Appleby attacked Mr Sharples with a "Bruce Lee-type" kick, causing him to fall and die from severe head injuries.

A jury yesterday convicted 18-year-old Appleby of the New Year's Day murder by a majority verdict of ten to two following a two-week trial at Teesside Crown Court.

But the eight women and four men of the jury were unable to reach a verdict on Appleby's co-accused Scott Ross Fullam, who was also charged with murder.

They spent around 12 hours deliberating before returning their verdict to the Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Peter Fox QC. The jury has now been discharged.

The Crown Prosecution Service must now decide whether to hold a re-trial for Fullam.

Judge Fox said Appleby's sentencing would be adjourned until it was clear how Fullam's case will progress.

Both 18-year-olds were remanded in custody by the judge.

Over the last fortnight the court has been told how the two teenagers were involved in an altercation with Mr Sharples on Inglewood Avenue in Marske in the early hours of January 1.

During the incident Mr Sharples was knocked to the floor and suffered fatal head injuries.

The court was told the 52-year-old victim was subjected to a "flying kung fu kick" during the street assault.

Paul Maguire, who was staying at a house in nearby Epping Close, said he had looked out of the window after becoming aware of a disturbance outside.

He said he saw a "young lad" wearing dark clothing run up and kick the man.

Mr Maguire said: "He did like a kung fu kick."

He said it was at about chest or neck level, "high up" on the man's body. Mr Maguire told the court he heard a crack and next saw the man "laid out" on the ground.

When interviewed by police Appleby admitted he "knew something about how to kickbox" but denied the kick.

Pathologist Dr Nigel Cooper said the severity of Mr Sharples' head fracture led him to believe the father-of-two was forcefully killed. …

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