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12th Sep 2023

‘Absolute gent’ landlord stabbed to death in his own pub in horrifying incident

Steve Hopkins

‘You couldn’t help but love him’

A much-loved pub landlord was stabbed to death in his pub on Monday night.

Matthew Bryant was attacked at the Hare and Hounds in Maidstone, Kent, just before 6pm, and despite being given medical attention, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A woman known to Bryant, and in her 50s, was arrested at the scene and is being held on suspicion of murder. She remains in custody.

A large police presence remained outside the pub on Tuesday morning as tributes began to pour in for the popular publican who had been a landlord for 25 years, the last eight of them at the Hare and Hounds.

Local resident Chris Leach said Bryant “hadn’t got a bad bone in his body.”

He added: “You couldn’t help but love him.”

Mark Osborne said: “Matt and Caroline were the best landlords you could ever meet.

“All my thoughts go out to all his family and friends. Heaven has got a true angel.”

Another local, Daniel Hoggart, described Bryant as an “absolute gent.”

A Kent Police spokeswoman said officers were called to the Lower Boxley Road and attended the scene along with South East Coast Ambulance Service.

“A man was treated for injuries consistent with stab wounds and was confirmed deceased at the scene shortly after. His next of kin have been informed,” the spokeswoman said.

“An investigation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate was commenced and a woman in her 50s was arrested and taken into custody.”

She added: “It is understood the suspect and the victim were known to each other.

“A cordon remains in place at the scene while enquiries are completed into the circumstances surrounding the incident.”

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