Wolverhampton man jailed for 27 years for ‘brutal and merciless’ murder of father-of-two

Carl Ellitts (left) has been jailed for the murder of Roy Deeley-Price (right) Credit: West Midlands Police

A man who repeatedly stamped on a father-of-two’s head, stopping only to try to buy a sandwich using his victim’s bank card before continuing his "brutal and merciless attack", has been jailed for a minimum of 27 years.

Carl Ellitts, 26, was branded a "bully and a coward" by Mrs Justice Stacey at Wolverhampton Crown Court as she jailed him for the murder of Roy Deeley-Price, as well as three separate robberies, assault with intention to rob and four counts of raping of two women, all of which happened during a four-day "rampage".

Ellitts, of no fixed address, saw Mr Deeley-Price, 48, withdrawing £10 from a cashpoint at a Shell garage in Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton, just before 10pm on May 28 last year and followed him before launching a "ferocious" assault on his victim in the driveway of a nearby care home, the court heard on Monday.

Ellitts, who inflicted serious skull fractures on Mr Deeley-Price, took his victim’s bank card and in the middle of the attack, dragged his body into a bush before going back to the Shell garage and attempting to buy a sandwich using it, but the card was declined.

'The fact that he was killed for £10 was all the more heartbreaking'

The killer returned to Mr Deeley-Price’s body four times in the space of 11 minutes to continue his assault, kicking and stamping on his head at least 12 times, at one point using both his feet, before he was dragged away by an associate.

Mr Deeley-Price’s body was discovered by care home staff the next day.

Prosecutor Richard Barraclough KC told the court Ellitts, who suffers with drug and alcohol problems, was "on the look out for people to rob" and the £10 Mr Deeley-Price had withdrawn prior to the attack was never found, although the bank card was discovered near the victim’s body.

Roy Deeley-Price, pictured, was murdered by Carl Ellitts on May 28 last year Credit: West Midlands Police/PA

He said: "He has seen Roy withdraw money and he followed the victim, pushed him into the driveway of a care home and stamped on his head, face and body with such ferocity he suffered serious fractures and was killed.

"This was a brutal and merciless attack on the deceased while he was on the ground and dead, or at least dying, and entirely vulnerable."

Bearded Ellitts, dressed in a grey tracksuit, looked at the floor while CCTV of the attack was played in court.

He kept his head down as Mr Deeley-Price’s tearful sister Clare Reynolds spoke from the witness box about how her family’s lives "crumbled" when they learned that a body that had been found the morning after the attack was her brother.

She said Mr Deeley-Price had struggled with addiction and mental health issues but he was a "proud" father who loved his two children "dearly".

Ellitts was sentenced by Mrs Justice Stacey at Wolverhampton Crown Court Credit: Rui Vieira/PA

She said: "The day our nightmare began, May 29 – it was a bank holiday and I remember telling mum about a body being found.

"That poor family, we thought, how terrible, it must be murder, we said.

"In a few short hours our world crumbled. It has felt like a waking nightmare since."

The court also heard how Ellitts raped two vulnerable women on May 25 and 26, threatening them both with violence and leaving them suffering psychological harm including flashbacks and anxiety.

He also carried out three robberies and assaulted a fourth victim with intent to rob them.

On May 26, he pushed a man off his bike and stole his bag and met another victim in the street, telling them he had no shoes.

'I'm sure from the ferocity of the attack that [Ellitts] intended to kill [Mr Deeley-Price]'

When he tried to help Ellitts, he attempted to stuff a handkerchief in his mouth and threatened him, saying he was going to the bank with him.

On May 28, he kicked another victim to the ground and put a broken glass bottle to his neck before stealing his trainers and £30 and threatened to kill him if he called the police.

The same day, he demanded another man’s cash or said he would stab him.

Mrs Justice Stacey praised the "incredible bravery" of Mr Deeley-Price’s family as she jailed Ellitts for a minimum of 27 years for the murder of a "beloved son and cherished father who was doing his best to overcome his demons".

She said: "On the evening of May 28, Roy’s life and his hopes for the future were cut short. You (Ellitts) watched as he went to the cashpoint and withdrew £10 for cigarettes, followed him and attacked him.

"He did his best to resist you but was overpowered and once on the ground, was utterly vulnerable.

"It is hard to forget the brutal savagery of this sustained and merciless attack. You took his stolen bank card and swaggered to the garage, six minutes later you went back to Roy and continued your attack.

"You stamped on him again and again and again.

"In the words of his beloved Oasis, he just wanted to live, he didn’t want to die, he wanted to grow his wings and fly but you never gave him the chance to do that.

"I’m sure from the ferocity of the attack that you intended to kill him and not just cause him serious harm and you did this for gain, although you didn’t gain much from it.

"The fact he was killed for £10 was all the more heartbreaking."

The judge also praised the women Ellitts had raped for their bravery in coming forward.

Addressing Ellitts, who sat with his head bowed as he was sentenced, she said: "Many people have drug and alcohol issues but very, very few people behave as you did.

"You have a history of violence and intimidation, particularly towards women, who you have terrorised. You appear to have enjoyed exercising threats over people."

Ellitts was handed a 10-year sentence for each count of rape to run concurrently, and eight years to run concurrently for the robberies, as well as three years for assault with intention to rob.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to murder, the robberies and assault with intention to rob, but not guilty to four counts of rape, although he was found guilty by a jury after a trial last month.

Detective Inspector Damian Forrest, from West Midlands Police’s major crime unit homicide team, said: "We are pleased with the sentence. Although this will never bring Roy back and it will not heal the family’s sense of loss, I hope it will go some way towards helping his heartbroken family come to terms with what has happened.

"I would also like to commend the bravery of the two women who Ellitts raped. They courageously came to court during the trial and gave evidence, securing convictions for all his cowardly crimes.

"Lastly, I would like to thank the communities of Wolverhampton that provided our investigation with information and assistance that allowed us to convict Ellitts of his crimes and get him behind bars."

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