Yorkway trial gets underway

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A HIRED hitman who was ordered to break a motel manager’s leg for £600 told a jury that when he swung a baseball bat at his head, it sounded like “metal hitting metal.”

Barman Sean Craib, 21, described how his £10 baseball bat, which was bought for the job, hit bar manager Michael Brown, 53, in the car park of the Yorkway Motel in Pocklington.

Hull Crown Court heard yesterday, Wednesday 26 January, how Alan Lumley, 55, was unhappy that Michael Brown refused his offer to buy him out of a £60,000 lease for the Yorkway Motel at Pocklington and arranged for his barman and a driver to “break a limb.”

The undercover hit in the car park left Mr Brown blinded in one eye with a fractured skull on 9 July last year. He needed reconstructive surgery and lost his sense of smell.

Taking the witness stand, Sean Craib told the jury he had recruited Robert Elliott as a trusted driver, using the landlord’s navigation to guide them from Killingholme to Pocklington.

“The plan was for him (Elliott) to go and get him outside. Say he had reversed into his car and I would go and strike him,” said Craib.

“We sat in the car for a minute. Robbie asked what he should say. I said go and say you reversed into his car. Robbie went into the hotel and came out with Mr Brown. I pulled the bat out of the bag towards me in the car. Robbie and Mr Brown came out.

“Robbie was crouched down at the offside wheel arch and Mr Brown was standing there. I got out the car and struck Mr Brown with the baseball bat. I hit him once and he went down. Me and Robbie jumped back in the car. We started driving home. Robbie was driving fast.

“An ambulance and police car drove past. Robbie suggested I get rid of the bat in case we were pulled over by the police. We pulled over near a wall and launched it out the window.

“Robbie asked me if Alan Lumley would be pleased. I said I think he would be pleased. There was a conversation about the noise of the bat on his face.

“I said it sounded like bits of metal just hitting off each other.”

The court heard how they reached Elliott’s home in South Killingholme and got into separate cars, texting each other with messages.

Craib said when he reached Lumley’s pub, he was paid £600 with a further £120 for Robbie Elliott. He texted him: “Been paid mate, got £120 for you.” Elliott replied: “Sweet dude.”

Craib, of Grimsby, and Alan Lumley, the licensee of the Laceby Arms pub in Grimsby, have both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause Michael Brown grievous bodily harm with intent.

Robert Elliott, 20, of School Road, South Killingholme, denies the conspiracy charge, but has pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

The jury have been told the issue they must decide is the intent. The trial continues.