Page last updated at 16:15 GMT, Monday, 28 April 2008 17:15 UK

Barman gets life for pub murder

Leigh David Melton (from Thames Valley Police)
Melton worked as head barman at The Three Horseshoes public house

A 23-year-old man has been jailed for life for stabbing to death a chef in the village pub where they both worked.

The body of 35-year-old Kelly Ryan, from Slough, was found at The Three Horseshoes in Eton Wick in Berkshire on 24 September 2007.

Head barman Leigh David Melton, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Ryan during a row and was jailed for life at Reading Crown Court.

The judge recommended that he should serve a minimum of 14 years.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Ryan died from stab wounds.

Melton was arrested in Hull, Humberside, two days after the murder.

Det Ch Insp Karen Trego, who led the Thames Valley Police investigation, said: "This tragic incident deprived a family of a much-loved son and brother.

"I hope today's verdict will go some way towards helping them to come to terms with their loss."

In a statement after the sentencing, Mr Ryan's family said: "There will never be words to describe the pain and void in our lives caused by Kelly being taken from us.

Kelly Ryan (from Thames Valley Police)
Mr Ryan was described as "a wonderful brother and a brilliant person"

"Kelly has a brother, Ricky, who is eight years younger, and a sister, Vicki, who is 18 years younger. He was the doting brother.

"We are all a really close family unit and family was everything to Kelly. He was a wonderful son, a wonderful brother and a brilliant person.

"Leigh Melton has given us a life sentence and he will never suffer the way we will.

"It is not fair that because of his guilty plea he will probably be released from prison when he is around the same age as Kelly was when he killed him.

"He will be able to start his life again. Kelly will never have that privilege.

"All we have left now are our memories. Melton took a part of our lives when he took Kelly's.

"We will never get over losing Kelly but suppose that in time we will just learn to live with it."

Man charged with pub chef murder
28 Sep 07 |  Berkshire

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