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Man charged with murder over soldier’s death

Welsh police have charged an amateur boxer with the murder of Royal Gibraltar Regiment soldier Private Matthew Boyd in Brecon last weekend.

Police in Wales confirmed on Wednesday night that they had charged 23-year old Jake Vellely with murder. A second man, 22-year old Aaeron Evans has been charged with affray.

They appeared at Brecon Magistrates Court yesterday morning. The 23-year-old, whose address cannot be published, only spoke to confirm his name and age and both men were remanded in custody.

Both Vallely and Evans will appear at Cardiff Crown Court today.

The development comes as Pte Boyd’s family issued an emotional tribute to the 20-year old in which they vowed to do everything in their power to support the police in getting justice for him.

Pte Boyd was found injured and unconscious on Lion Street in Brecon, Powys, at around 1am on Sunday May 8. According to UK press reports he was assaulted outside a pub as he made the short journey back to his barracks.

In a statement Pte Boyd’s family thanked the community of Brecon for their thoughts and condolences.

“It has given us such strength as a family at this horrendous time,” the statement read.

“Matthew was a kind and popular young man, and it has been wonderful to see his warm and kind personality being replicated through the kindness of complete strangers.”

“We would like to thank the police for all of the work that they have done in getting to this point, and will continue to do everything in our power to support them in getting justice for Matthew.”     

The family also thanked the community in Gibraltar.

“The people of Gibraltar have been fantastic to us, and we are grateful for their support,” they said in the statement.

“We are particularly grateful for the support from those currently in Brecon from Matthew’s regiment, the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, who have gone out of their way to support us. We look forward to bringing Matthew home to Gibraltar.”

“We now ask for time and space for us to come to terms with this devastating news.”

Earlier this week, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond began an address at No. 6 Convent Place on Wednesday during a short visit to Gibraltar by offering his condolences to the family of Pte Boyd.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends and the members of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, who I know miss him very much,” Mr Hammond said.

SPORTING TRIBUTE

Meanwhile, the creator of the charitable organisation ‘The Baton’ which carries a message of support for the armed forces will dedicate a run around the Rock to Pte Boyd’s memory.

Alan Rowe, MBE, is aiming to complete a run around the Rock on Saturday morning while carrying the Baton. He said yesterday: “It seems very apt to remember Matthew on Saturday when we run”.

“Even though you may be serving in the furthest corners of the globe you will always be in our thoughts and prayers… out of sight will never be out of mind,” the last line of the Baton’s message reads, and Mr Rowe said that Pte Boyd and his family will be in the group’s thoughts and prayers.

Mr Rowe and other runners will be seen off from the Convent at 10am by the Governor, Lieutenant General Edward Davis.

Mr Rowe said he was not intending to seek donations but if anyone would like to donate all monies would go to the Royal Gibraltar Regiment benevolent fund.