My son was beaten to death, stripped and left to drown on beach by 15-year-old and his pals…now monster may walk free | The Sun

A HEARTBROKEN dad has told how his son was beaten to death, stripped and left to drown on a beach by a teenager and his pals – now the monster might walk free.

Ben Bellamy was just 17 years old when he was murdered in Swansea back 2005.

The lad, destined to "do good in the world", had left a nightclub during the early hours of the morning on September 18 when he was lured to his death.

Two thugs, including Joshua Declan Thomas, who was just 15 at the time, took Ben to the beach where they beat him so badly he was found with trainer marks on his face.

The killer trio then took his bank card and phone before leaving him to drown naked in a metre of water.

Thomas was handed a life sentence for murder alongside Joel Taylor, then aged 18, for the "determined, cold and violent killing".


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Third participant Andrew Rafferty was convicted of manslaughter.

Sentenced at Swansea Crown Court in 2006, Thomas was ordered to serve at least 18 years behind bars.

And in 2017, the killer had a year taken off his sentence after a judge praised his "exceptional" progress in jail.

Today, the now 32-year-old will face a parole hearing – which could see him released in weeks.

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Ben's dad John, 53, has now told The Sun Online he fears an early release will see Thomas "kill again".

The dad-of-four said: "He has never shown any empathy, all he has done is play the system and fool people that he is rehabilitated. 

"I have no doubt in my mind that he will re-offend if not kill again.

"My reaction is anger that someone who has killed my son for no reason and shown no remorse should ever be let out. 

"I've lost my boy and my children have lost their brother.

"Ben was going to do good in the world and didn't deserve what he suffered by the hands of those animals.

"I'm angry that he can end my son's life in such a disgusting, vile and inhumane way, then do some time in prison and get the chance for parole.

"He could potentially be allowed out to enjoy his life. My boy Ben will never get that chance."

Pleading with the parole board to reconsider, John added: "I would urge the justice Secretary to look into it again. 

"My boy Ben wasn't given a second thought. His life was lost by the hands of them.

"Why should any of them be living their lives?"

Speaking to Thomas, John said: "If there was a chance he could read this, I'd say I hope every time he looks in the mirror he can see himself as a cowardly murderer and that is what he will always be."

At the murder trial in March 2006, Judge Mrs Justice Lang said Ben was "a slight young man who put up little resistance" and was beaten until "he was unable to walk or stand".

She added: "The personal statements from members of his family describe the loss of a kind, thoughtful, young man with a bright future."

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Taylor was given a minimum sentence of 22-years while Rafferty had his manslaughter conviction quashed in 2007 after he pleaded guilty to robbery.

Thomas will stand in front of the parole board today with a decision expected to be made at a later date.

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