Mid Wales

Soldier Matthew Boyd was 'murdered' on Brecon night out

Matthew Boyd Image copyright Family/Facebook
Image caption Matthew Boyd was off-duty in Brecon when he was allegedly murdered

A soldier on a night out in Powys was murdered by a man who had earlier boasted he was the "hardest man in town", a court has heard.

Pte Matthew Boyd, 20, was off-duty in the barracks town of Brecon when he was allegedly attacked by Jake Vallely.

Cardiff Crown Court heard Mr Vallely, 24, of Brecon, punched and beat Pte Boyd on the ground before running off.

Mr Vallely denies murder. His friend Aaeron Evans, 23, also of Brecon, denies manslaughter.

Pte Boyd, who served with the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, was on his way back to his barracks when he was found unconscious by police in the early hours of 8 May.

The court was told Mr Vallely, an art gallery worker, had been on a seven hour drinking session by the time of the alleged murder.

He was said to have gone on a bar crawl following a game of football for Brecon Town FC.

Image copyright Wales news service
Image caption Jake Vallely had earlier boasted about being the "hardest man in town", the court heard
Image copyright MOD
Image caption Matthew Boyd served with the Royal Gibraltar Regiment

Prosecutor Christopher Quinlan QC told the court Mr Vallely had said he was the "hardest man in Brecon" an hour or so before the attack.

"A little after midnight, he [Boyd] was attacked, he was beaten and as a consequence, he died," Mr Quinlan said.

"Matthew Boyd was punched, he went to the ground, and then he was beaten until he moved no more.

"Vallely dragged and dumped his body and then ran off."

Mr Evans is accused of manslaughter for allegedly helping in the attack.

Mr Quinlan QC said: "Both were involved in that violent, senseless attack that caused that young man's death. Evans assisted his friend.

"When interviewed by police Vallely accepted that he chased and punched Matthew Boyd. Evans said he played no part in it."

Image copyright Wales News Service

Pte Boyd was on a training exercise at the infantry battle school in Brecon at the time of the attack.

The jury was shown CCTV images of the assault in the street outside a bar in the town called The Cellar.

Mr Quinlan said Mr Vallely sent text messages to friends in the hours after the incident after hearing emergency services were at the scene.

He allegedly wrote: "But the little fight we had surely couldn't warrant that?

"The only thing I can think is he's fallen and hit his head or got run over. Is there CCTV down that street?

"I just ragged him on the floor a bit. Nothing serious. Wasn't even a beating like."

The court heard Mr Vallely later handed himself in at a police station.

Officers recovered his white polo shirt, stained with blood from Mr Vallely and Pte Boyd, from the gallery where he worked. Pte Boyd's blood was also found on a pair of Mr Vallely's trainers.

The trial continues.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Floral tributes were left at the scene after Pte Boyd died

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