Man found guilty of murder - Turnford

15/02/2016

A man has today, Monday, 15 February 2016, been found guilty at St Albans Crown Court of the murder of 51-year-old Frank Buckley in Turnford on 26 June last year.

Michael Turner, aged 57, from Landau Way in Broxbourne, has been on trial since 13 January 2016.

During the trial the court heard how the two men, who were known to each other, had a confrontation in the street in Groom Road, Turnford at around 11.30am on Friday, 26 June 2015. Turner then deliberately drove his van at Frank Buckley, knocking him to the floor, before running over him.

Frank Buckley died at the scene from multiple injuries including major injuries to his chest, pelvis and skull.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved the tragic murder of 51-year-old Frank Buckley, who was deliberately run over and killed on Groom Road, Turnford in June last year.

"At about 11.30am on Friday, 26 June 2015, after a short confrontation in the street, Frank had been walking away when Michael Turner got back into his van and intentionally ran into him, knocking him over and then ran over him before reversing back over him and driving off.  Frank died at the scene from multiple injuries including major injuries to his chest, pelvis and skull.  There is no doubt that Turner intended to kill him.  Turner clearly acted out of blind rage in a grossly disproportionate manner and is undoubtedly an extremely ruthless and violent man.

"Turner was arrested just after 1pm the same day.  During his police interview he claimed that Frank had sprayed something in his eyes, was frightened of him and needed to get away.  He admitted he may have struck Frank with his van, but not on purpose.  However, when a safe distance away he did nothing to secure medical assistance for himself or Frank.  Instead he drove a considerable distance to the Cheshunt Minor Injuries Clinic and on arrival neatly parked in a bay, paid for a ticket and walked into the clinic.  On route he passed a police station, but did not stop to get help or report the incident.  CCTV shows his manner of driving as completely normal and not that of someone with impaired vision and in need of medical attention.

"This case represents a tragedy for Frank's family and friends who have been devastated by his death. I would like to pay tribute to them for their wholehearted support of the investigation and prosecution and the dignity they displayed while hearing the horrific details surrounding Frank's murder. The witnesses, some of whom were just teenagers, were utterly unprepared for what they saw, shaken and shocked and have given evidence in very difficult circumstances.

"We have worked closely with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved.  We know that nothing will bring Frank back to his family and friends, but we hope that todays conviction brings them at least a small sense that justice has been done. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time."

Detective Inspector Scott Winton from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit led the investigation and said: "Whilst we know Michael Turner had not pre-planned this incident, he deliberately drove at and then ensured he ran over Frank Buckley.

"He then callously left the scene making no attempt to get help for his victim; instead he drove himself to hospital to get treatment.

"Our thoughts are very much with their family who have not only lost a loved one; due to Michael Turner denying his actions that day, they have had to endure listening to the evidence during this trial. I would like to thank them for their support in this case and having the courage to attend court."

Turner will be sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Monday, 07 March 2016.