Tom Gaughan murder trial: Connor Hulse found guilty after stabbing on Cleethorpes street

Connor Hulse has been found guilty of the murder of Tom Gaughan
-Credit: (Image: Humberside Police)


A 22-year-old has been convicted of murder after father-of-five Tom Gaughan was stabbed in the head on a Cleethorpes street.

It took the jury at Grimsby Crown Court just two hours to find Connor Hulse, of Chester Walk, Grimsby guilty of murder of Mr Gaughan on July 21 last year.

He used a knife to stab him in the head after a violent confrontation at the junction of High Street and Grant Street, Cleethorpes.

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Mr Gaughan, 32, had been out drinking with his friend Jack Kitchen around 7.30pm when they crossed paths with Hulse and his girlfriend, Gabrielle Hough. The couple were with a friend Daniel Champion when the violence flared.

Hulse drew a knife from his waistband and used it to slash at the victim's arm and then a forceful blow to Mr Gaughan's head.

He died in hospital in Hull 25 days later, despite the efforts of surgeons. The lock knife, which Hulse claimed he had bought that day for a fishing trip with his father and grandfather the following day, went over four centimetres into his victim's skull.

Tom Gaughan, who died after the incident in Grant Street, Cleethorpes
Tom Gaughan, who died after the incident in Grant Street, Cleethorpes -Credit:Facebook

Emergency services arrived quickly on the scene and arrested Hulse and his girlfriend. Thanks to a passer-by, police officer PC Holly Haynes was alerted to the weapon which had been handed to Hough and hidden in the back pocket of her jeans. She was arrested and the knife retrieved. Forensic examination proved it had Mr Gaughan's blood and Hulse's DNA.

Hulse told police in interview he had been beaten up by Mr Gaughan and Mr Kitchen. He claimed he was only waving the knife to scare the two men off. But the jury took two hours of deliberation to find the defendant guilty.

The defendant shook his head when the verdict was read out and turned to look at his family. Judge John Thackray KC thanked the jury for their service. He said Hulse will have to be sentenced along with the other defendants who have been convicted of other offences.

The judge said the sentencing hearing “might be a few weeks away". He said it will last one day. Judge Thackray KC said: “I want to thank all concerned for the way they have conducted themselves.”

Senior Crown Advocate Jeremy Evans, left, with Sam Green KC, outside Grimsby Crown Court
Senior Crown Advocate Jeremy Evans, left, with Sam Green KC, outside Grimsby Crown Court -Credit:Grimsby Live

Earlier, he thanked counsel Sam Green KC and Senior Crown Advocate, Jeremy Evans, for the prosecution and Katherine Goddard KC and Dale Brook for the defence. As he was led away, Hulse shouted to his relatives: “Don’t worry about me. I’m strong. I will be alright.”

Senior Crown Advocate Jeremy Evans said: “The prosecution are pleased with the verdict and that Humberside Police’s thorough investigation has brought an offender to justice and hope it brings the family of Mr Gaughan, who have conducted themselves with such dignity, some consolation at this extremely difficult time. The verdict of guilty to murder shows the risks for anyone who thinks they can go out on the streets of Cleethorpes, or anywhere else, with a knife."

Relatives of Mr Gaughan were in court to hear the verdict and were supported by family liaison officers from Humberside Police.