Shropshire Star

Murdered man's wife can't visit hometown as she struggles to come to terms with his death

The wife of a man killed in a brutal attack by three men in their garden has spoken about how she can't even go into her hometown as she struggles to come to terms with his death.

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

Charmaine Dyche's victim impact statement statement was read out at the sentencing of the three men who murdered her husband, Carl, in a savage attack in December 2021.

Mr Dyche, 51, died in Hereford County Hospital three days after being attacked by John Lock, Luke Bellis and Ajay Price in his garden in front of his wife.

On Friday all three were jailed for life with minimum terms of between 15 and 17-and-a-half years for the murder of Mr Dyche.

During their sentencing at Worcester Crown Court, Mrs Dyche said no words can express the pain, mentally, physically and emotionally that they as a family are having to go through.

She said she wakes every day with the realisation that she is on her own and her husband has gone. She said they can’t speak about their life plans for the future such as their plan to buy a home.

Mrs Dyche said she had been unable to go into her home town since the night of the incident, which had brought on depression and anxiety and she could not even leave her home for months.

She told the court she struggles to sleep and wakes up sweating in fear with the incident being replayed over and over. She said there was no let up – on that night everything she had was "lost forever", describing the feeling as like a "bored hole which got deeper and deeper". Mrs Dyche also explained how she had given up her job of 24 years as it was in Kington.

The court also heard from those mitigating on behalf of the killers.

Mitigating for him, Ms Kate Bex, representing Lock, said none of the men intended Mr Dyche to die.

Ms Bex said he had been no trouble at all in prison since being remanded in custody shortly after the attack and had been co-operative.

She said it was a crying shame that it had taken an incident like this to cause a dramatic change for good in Lock, who also suffers from two mental health disorders and had been self-harming while on remand.

Lock did not give evidence during the trial but he wrote a letter to the judge. In it he said he wishes the incident had never happened and that he was "truly sorry".

He added that he prays for forgiveness every night and for Carl and hopes he is at peace, saying he was disgusted and ashamed of his behaviour.

“I will spend the rest of my life now trying to be a better person and will make sure nothing like this ever happens again," he told the judge.

Mr Christie KC for Ajay Price, of Canon Pyon and previously of Kington, who was 19 at the time and is 21 now said he had no previous convictions

He said 20 character references had been submitted on his behalf stating how he was respectful, well-mannered, with a good family, and how he worked conscientiously and with pride.

Diagnosed with ADHD, the court heard he was on bail for two offences of possession of bladed articles at Bristol Crown Court at the time of this incident.

Mr Christie said Price had written a letter expressing deep remorse and a pre-sentence report showed that his maturity was less than his chronological age.

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

He said Price is taking maths and English classes in prison and has said he wishes to achieve something positive while inside prison.

Mr Michael Mather-Lees, speaking for Bellis of High Street, Kington, said he had suffered a traumatic childhood, with his mother being found dead when he was nine and his father kicking him out of home at 12. He told the court that violence became Bellis’ way of coping.

Mr Mather-Lees said before this offence, Bellis had started to take steps to improve his behaviour and was working on strategies to cope with life issued, although he was still on licence for previously attacking an ex-girlfriend at the time of the incident.

He said Bellis had tried to stop the effects of the attack as it came to an end but it was too late and two-and-a-half minutes of madness had destroyed so many lives.

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

Bellis 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 Price will serve at least 15 years minus 473 days on remand.

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

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