Two men have been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of the murder of Luton man Atul Shah.
Following a five week trial last month, Kyle Pitchford Price, 23, and Luke West, 23, were convicted of bludgeoning Atul Shah to death in his flat in Crescent Road in the early hours of Wednesday, January 6.
Today, they were sentenced to a combined minimum total of 56 years behind bars.
Pitchford-Price, of Dovehouse Hill, Luton, must serve a minimum of thirty years in jail for killing Mr Shah alongside 13 years for conspiracy to rob and two for perverting the course of justice.
The Judge ruled West, of Abbots Wood Road, must serve a minimum of 26 years in prison alongside 13 years for conspiracy to rob.
Pitchford-Price’s girlfriend at the time, Corinna Armstrong, 21, also of Dovehouse Hill, was sentenced to a total two and a half years in prison, made up of 18 months for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and 12 months for conspiracy to burgle.
During the trial, the court heard how the two men had gone to Mr Shah’s flat planning to rob him and steal his home-grown cannabis. After breaking into the flat, Pitchford-Price and West carried out a barbaric attack on Mr Shah, tying his feet and hands together, and bludgeoning him to death.
Following an appeal in the local press, a witness contacted police and gave both Pitchford-Price and West’s names as the men responsible for Mr Shah’s death and the truth of the evening was subsequently unravelled.
Det Insp Justine Jenkins said: “Mr Shah was violently murdered in his own home by the two callous men. They tortured him and took his life over drugs and, despite knowing he was seriously hurt, they fled the scene in an attempt to cover up what they had done, failing to seek any medical assistance.
“This is a strong sentence and I am pleased that the pair will face a long time behind bars for this abhorrent attack. I hope it shows that this sickening behaviour will not be tolerated and we will do everything in our power to ensure those who think nothing of taking someone’s life in such a senseless manner are caught and punished severely.
“I would like to thank Mr Shah’s family for the support they gave during the investigation and difficult court process. I hope that they are able to take some comfort in the knowledge that those responsible for the brutal murder of their loved one have now been brought to justice.”