A MAN is accused of killing his friend during a hit-and-run incident outside a pub, a court heard.

Craig Garton, 41, of Upper Branston Road, Clacton, was charged with murder after he allegedly ran over Dean Clark, also 41, in Little Clacton, following an altercation on Friday night.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard the incident happened outside the Blacksmith Arms, in The Street.

In the brief hearing yesterday morning, the court heard the altercation spilled into the car park and Garton jumped into his Ford Transit van.

It is alleged Garton then drove at Clark, missing him once before fatally striking him.

Sharon Hall, prosecuting, said the pair were friends and had been drinking before an argument broke out.

Ms Hall added: “[Clark] thrown on to the front of the van with some force.

“The Crown understands Mr Clark then fell under the vehicle.”

He was treated by paramedics but died at the scene.

It is alleged Garton drove off in the van and was arrested a short time later.

Garton spoke only to confirm his name and address.

He did not enter a plea to the charge of murder and was remanded in custody before appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court later in the afternoon.

He again did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody to appear again on April 6 ahead of an expected trial on August 10.

Tributes have been paid to car salesman Mr Clark who was involved in the local youth football community.

Ray Pemberton, 42, from Clacton, first met Mr Clark when he was a DJ at the Lake, in St Osyth, and said Mr Clark requested a song before buying him a drink.

The pair immediately hit it off and had been close friends ever since.

“Dean loved people, he was very funny and had a golden heart,” he said.

“He was a genuine geezer, did a lot of charity work, and loved his family.

“My mum loved him and called him her golden boy.

“He was like a brother to me and a son to her.

“I am in absolute shock and have been crying ever since.”