Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

TEENS AWAIT THEIR FATE; Grandad's Killers to Be Sentenced for Attack

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

TEENS AWAIT THEIR FATE; Grandad's Killers to Be Sentenced for Attack

Article excerpt


TWO teenagers were today waiting behind bars to learn their fates for the killing of popular Teesside dad Ron Sharples.

Scott Fullam, 19, and Declan Appleby, 18, are awaiting sentence for their parts in the death of the 52-year-old father and grandfather in a joint street attack in Marske.

Fullam admitted manslaughter at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

He and Appleby denied murdering Mr Sharples, who was knocked to the floor and suffered fatal head injuries on Inglewood Avenue in the early hours of New Year's Day 2008.

Appleby delivered a high kick to the dad-of-two after Fullam pushed or punched him, the court heard.

The two teenagers were tried for murder last summer.

The court heard then how Mr Sharples was punched, suffered a "flying kung-fu kick" during the street assault and hit his head hard on the ground, killing him.

Appleby, of Cliff Street, New Marske, was convicted after the two-week trial and still awaits his life sentence.

A jury was unable to reach a verdict on Fullam, formerly of Hawkins Close, Marske, after 12 hours of deliberation.

He was scheduled to face a re-trial yesterday.

But after hours of discussions, the Crown accepted his guilty plea to manslaughter.

Prosecutor Jeremy Richardson QC said that decision was taken after "mature reflection", "very careful consideration" and consultation with Mr Sharples' family.

He said it was proper to accept the plea given how quickly the incident in Marske happened.

He said: "Although this was a joint attack, that cropped up rapidly, it's possible for two individuals doing two separate things as part and parcel of a joint attack to have separate intentions.

"The intention of Appleby, as the jury found, was to cause really serious harm.

It does rather look from the nature of the injuries that the high kick was the cause of him (Mr Sharples) going down."

He said Fullam would not have been charged with murder if his actions stood alone. Appleby, who had been in trouble before for violence, "almost certainly" caused the neck and facial injuries.

The prosecution would have had "certain difficulties" convicting Fullam of murder, added Mr Richardson. …

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