Shropshire Star

Murderers who killed man in savage garden attack in front of his wife are jailed for life

Three men must serve at least 49 years in jail between them for murdering a man who was attacked in his garden in front of his family.

Last updated
Carl Dyche died three days after being attacked in his garden. Photo: West Mercia Police

John Lock, Luke Bellis and Ajay Price were found guilty of killing Carl Dyche unanimously by a jury in February, following a three-week trial at Worcester Crown Court.

On Friday all three were given life sentences for their parts in the fatal attack.

The three men attacked Mr Dyche, 51, in the rear garden of his home in Kington on Thursday, December 2 2021

He died in Hereford County Hospital three days later after suffering a fatal stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain due to blunt force trauma to the neck.

The court was told the cause of death, a fatal stroke caused by a blow to the neck, was a rare and unexpected event.

His Honour Judge James Burbidge said Mr Dyche had suffered bruises, abrasions and lacerations during the attack but he also had an existing defect in an artery – the build-up of cholesterol – which was not life-threatening and is suffered by many. He said the victim would have lived for many years had he not been attacked.

Judge Burbidge said a blunt force injury to Mr Dyche’s neck, caused by a punch, kick or hold, caused a blood clot to travel to his brain and he suffered a stroke.

But the judge said any attack by several people has a risk of causing serious injury.

He accepted the men did not intend to kill Mr Dyche and the attack was not pre-meditated.

The attack lasted less than two-and-a-half minutes, but the judge said the fury and anger of Lock, Bellis and Price lasted much longer.

John Lock, left, Luke Bellis, middle, and Ajay Price, right, have all been given long jail terms. Photo: West Mercia Police

The evening of the incident started with the three men going into Kington to see the switching-on of the Christmas lights.

But they got drunk and became belligerent and aggressive. Bellis punched another man and threatened a child before going to see a local drug dealer. When he failed to provide them with anything, they attacked him, before they carried on drinking at Lock’s home, which was near to Mr Dyche’s house.

Shortly afterwards Mr Dyche approached 35-year-old Lock and Bellis, 30, about the earlier incidents in town.

They then went to the victim's garden. Bellis went in first, offered a handshake but also made derogatory comments about Mr Dyche’s wife. Locke kicked the garden gate and Price climbed the fence.

In the small garden they punched, kicked, held and dragged Mr Dyche. He was overpowered and was thrown to the ground and while on his knees was placed in a headlock by Price and was then kicked while trying to escape to the kitchen. Price also kicked him to the head and hit his wife in the process.

After the attack Price smashed the kitchen window, sending glass on to their prone victim. Meanwhile Lock, despite being begged by his wife and daughter to go home, later attacked Mr Dyche’s truck and threatened another neighbour.

The three men also threatened to get weapons while Lock said they would "finish it off tonight". Price later bragged to girlfriends about three fights in a night and Bellis said Mr Dyche "got what he deserved".

On Friday, Lock, of Greenfields, Kington, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 17 years minus 475 days spent on remand.

Bellis, of High Street, Kington, was also sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum term of 17-and-a-half years minus 388 days he has spent on remand, while 21-year-old Price, of Canon Pyon in Herefordshire, will serve 15 years minus 473 days on remand.

They were all warned that when released they would be on licence for life.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.