THREE Herefordshire killers have been jailed for attacking their victim at his own home in front of his wife and step son.

Luke Bellis was among three men involved in the brutal, unprovoked killing of Carl Dyche in Kington in December 2021. He died days later in hospital.

They had been watching the town's Christmas lights being switched on, but when Bellis and his co-defendant Ajay Price got drunk "very very quickly", the mood changed.

As it happened: Killers jailed for life for alcohol-fuelled attack on 'friend' in front of kids

Bellis 30, and Price, 21, along with another man, 35-year-old John Lock, were all found guilty of murder by a jury at Worcester Crown Court in February, and on Friday (March 24) the trio were jailed for life by His Honour Judge Burbidge.

Hereford Times: Lock, Bellis and Price. Pic: West Mercia Police.Lock, Bellis and Price. Pic: West Mercia Police. (Image: West Mercia Police)

Bellis, of High Street, Kington, must serve 17-and-a-half years before he can be considered for parole, and his conduct was described as the spark for the two-and-a-half minutes of violence that ended Mr Dyche's life.

Price, 21, of Canon Pyon, near Hereford, who later told a girlfriend that he "switched" and couldn't be stopped, was jailed for at least 15 years.

Hereford Times:

Lock, who delivered the least violence but who had been described as having taken no steps to intervene in the attack, must serve at least 17 years of his sentence. All three will have the time they have served on remand deducted from their overall terms.

At one point during the two-and-a-half minute assault, Price was heard to shout "get a gun or a sledgehammer", while Bellis responded to the incident by shouting "he got what he deserved".

The violence was largely captured on CCTV, the judge says.

Bellis had punched a man in town, and threatened a child, before he, Lock and Price went to see a drug dealer. When he refused to provide class A drugs, they beat him up, then returned to Lock's house, close to Mr Dyche's home in Greenfields.

There, Mr Dyche approached them to ask what had happened before. Bellis climbed into his garden and offered to shake his hand, but then coupled his offer with a derogatory comment about Mr Dyche's wife.

Hereford Times:

Lock kicked the gate and Price climbed the fence, after which Mr Dyche was thrown to the floor and kicked repeatedly. Mr Dyche was overpowered swiftly and largely defenceless, the judge said.

When thrown to the floor in a headlock by Mr Price, Bellis kicked him four times as he tried to escape to the kitchen. Price struck one kick to the head.

Mr Dyche's wife Charmaine Dyche delivered a statement to the court, saying: "There are absolutely no words to express the pain we as a family are having to go thorugh in this ordeal. 

"This was an unthinkable crime. I struggle to go to sleep at night. I often wake up sweating of fear and I have flashabacks. 

"My family and friends are helping me through. People tell me the pain will get better.

"That night time stopped. It's not a pain that can be explained with words."


Father-of-five Lock's defence barrister told the court: "There was every sign that he was going to be able to get over his difficult start and enjoy a midlife and later years where he could be a decent father.

"This has derailed all of that."

In his own statement to the court Lock said: "I pray that Carl is at peace.

"I pray that one day they can forgive me for my part.

"I feel disgsuted watching the CCTV."

Hereford Times:

Bellis barrister Mr M Mather-Lees KC called his client "a little boy borne out of no love or nurturing", adding: "This comes from someone who came from a very abusive childhood.

"He is more sorry than he can express. He says his friend is dead."

Price was described as somebody of low maturity who had handed out sleeping bags and food on the streets of Bristol.

His barrister Mr Christie said: "Plainly a kick delivered by my client did not lead to the final event and death.

"Perhaps more important there was a lack of intention to kill. This incident with end result was a very rare event.

"Unlike his co-defendants, he has no previous convictions and we have a total of 20 positive character references that come in different forms."