‘It did shake us – it is really shocking’

Villagers have spoken of their shock after a man was fatally stabbed at a rural pub.

At 9.15pm on Saturday, October 5, officers were called to the Cricketers Inn in Meopham and found two men had been injured.

A stabbing took place at the Cricketers Inn in Meopham

A man in his 30s was pronounced dead at the scene while another was taken to a London hospital, where he remains in a stable condition.

A 29-year-old and a 50-year-old were later arrested on suspicion of murder. One man remains in custody.

Those who live in the area have spoken as their shock as they come to terms with what happened.

Doug Aldous, who lives close to Meopham Green, said: “We were disturbed by the police who wanted to review our CCTV.

“I woke up to find all the green was cordoned off and there was a massive police presence and a helicopter above.

Police searching the historic green in Meopham opposite where a stabbing took place at the Cricketers pubPolice at the scene after a man died in Meopham after he and another man were stabbed at the Cricketers pub

“I heard the helicopter and came to the front and saw all the blue flashing lights everywhere.

“It is a one off. You do not expect a murder 100 yards from where you live.

“I have grown up around here and lived here for four years, you do not get this type of stuff here.

“It is quiet, it is peaceful, it is nice place to live. You do not get much bother.”

Neighbouring resident Gary added: “It is quiet really. It’s a touristy pub, it has a good reputation and overlooks the green.

Police searching the historic green in Meopham opposite where a stabbing took place at the Cricketers pub

“It is quite unexpected.”

One resident, Tony, was in Dubai when the stabbing happened and saw police on his CCTV.

He said: “It is a bit of a shock to come home to. We have only lived here a year and this is the first major thing to happen.

“We are all quiet around here. It is not expected at all.”

Another resident who grew up in the area said: “It did shake us. It was really shocking, especially for somewhere so rural.

Forensics officers outside the Cricketers pub in Meopham following the fatal stabbing

“It is a lovely community here on the green.

“We were sat watching TV and could see flashing lights. There was only one police car so we thought nothing on it.

“Then all hell broke loose and we knew something serious was going on.

“I just felt really shocked. We do not really know what happened but they locked the place down.

“We saw it on the news and you could see where we lived. That really brought it home.”

Police at the scene after a man died in Meopham after he and another man were stabbed at the Cricketers pub

A post-mortem on the victim is scheduled to take place on Thursday afternoon.

Meopham councillors Ejaz Aslam, Frank Wardle, Denise Tirran and Gary Harding put out a statement earlier in the week to say: “The reports of yesterday’s incident at the Cricketers Inn has caused much concern within the local community.

“The news is harrowing and your ward councillors join the community in offering our condolences to the family of the deceased and our thoughts to the man recovering in hospital.

“We extend our thoughts to anyone who had to witness yesterday’s events.

“Since the incident took place, as your ward councillors we have been briefed by the police and have been assured that they believe this to be an isolated incident with no ongoing risk to the public.

Police at the scene after a man died in Meopham after he and another man were stabbed at the Cricketers pub

“We are grateful for the speedy and professional response of Kent Police and the emergency services and ask the community to do everything they can to support them with their investigations.

“A homicide investigation is currently ongoing and Kent Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward to aid their inquiries.

“The community is understandably in a state of shock and sadness following this tragic incident and we wanted to provide you with the reassure that we will continue to seek updates from the police and that we are here to support our community through this.”

Anyone who witnessed what happened or has any information is urged to call Kent Police on 101, quoting reference 05-1226.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or by using the online form on their website.

Crime Gravesham Kent Alex Langridge

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