A Welsh boxer who claimed he was “the hardest man in town” was yesterday convicted of murdering a local soldier during a night out in Wales.
Private Matthew Boyd, 20, of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, died in the barracks town of Brecon, South Wales, in the early hours of May 8.
Pte Boyd was chased, punched to the ground and beaten before his body was dragged and dumped in the road.
Jake Vallely, 24, had denied murder but was found guilty following a three week trial at Cardiff Crown Court.
He will be sentenced on December 8.
A second man, 23-year old Aaron Evans was cleared of manslaughter.
A statement from the family of Pte Boyd was read out by a family liaison officer outside the court following the verdict.
“He was born prematurely and he was taken from us prematurely, in the blink of an eye without warning,” his family said.
“Jake Vallely has created a void in our family that will never be filled. He has taken our son, our brother, our grandson and our friend with no reason and no excuse.”
“No punishment will justify his actions as our son will never knock at our door again, we will never be able to feel his kiss in our hearts again.”
“This unbearable pain is something we will have to live with for the rest of our lives.”
“During this trial it has been mentioned that Jake Vallely called himself the hardest man in Brecon on the night that he murdered our Matthew.”
“He could not have been more wrong.”
The family thanked the community of Brecon adding that the town will remain in their hearts.
Detective Superintendent Dave Guiney also read out a statement in which he said the “violent attack” had shocked the community of Brecon.
“I am pleased that Dyfed-Powys Police, with extensive support from the Crown Prosecution Service, has secured this verdict for Matthew Boyd and his family and friends, all of whom have spoken of Matthew with such love and admiration,” he said.
“Matthew Boyd was a young man enjoying a night out in Brecon with his friends. The violent attack he suffered, which resulted in his tragic death, was a despicable act and one that shocked the community of Brecon and Matthew’s military friends and colleagues.”
“I wish to extend my condolences to Matthew’s family. No prison sentence can bring him back, however I hope that the verdict does bring some form of justice and peace.”
Last night, the Commanding Officer of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment acknowledged the guilty verdict in the murder trial and reflected the regiment’s sadness at the death of Pte Boyd.
“This is still a sad day as we continue to mourn the loss of an outstanding soldier and close friend,” he told the Chronicle.
“This has been a very difficult time for Matthew Boyd’s family who have needlessly lost a son and a brother.”
“They should have never had to go through what they have been through.”
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