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Pub landlord stabbed to death by ex-sister-in-law seconds after calling police, court told

In Europe
April 19, 2024

A pub landlord was stabbed to death with a kitchen knife by his former sister-in-law, a jury has been told.

Matthew Bryant was calling police seconds before being attacked, footage shown to Maidstone Crown Court showed.

Witnesses said Stephanie Langley repeatedly stabbed him, before saying: “I’m glad I did it and I don’t mind going to jail” as paramedics desperately tried to save his life.

Langley, 54, of East Farleigh in Maidstone, Kent, admits possessing a knife but denies murder and an alternative offence of manslaughter.

Matthew Bryant and his wife, Caroline (Facebook)

Matthew Bryant and his wife, Caroline (Facebook)

Her son, Cameron Langley-McColm, told the court that his mother became so angry during an encounter with Mr Bryant in May last year that the landlord made her leave the pub, the Hare and Hounds in Maidstone.

But on 11 September she returned, drunk, and shouted that she was going to kill Mr Bryant, jurors heard.

Langley allegedly told a customer: “Get a drink while he is still alive.” Mr Bryant‘s wife, Caroline, asked her to leave and told her husband to phone the police.

But as Langley got up, she allegedly told him: “You’re dead tonight.”

CCTV footage showed the pair outside the pub, and, as he talked to police he tried to hand the phone to her, but she knocked it from his hand.

He told the emergency operator that Langley had accused him of violence and rape but that there were no police records of any such allegations.

The pair then disappeared from view, when Mr Bryant, 52, was stabbed twice in the back and once in the chest, jurors were told.

The line to police was still open when he was fatally wounded, and he told the operator: “I have just been stabbed.”

A witness described how Langley lunged forward with the kitchen knife and stabbed Mr Bryant’s shoulder twice before shouting: “I told you I would stab you.”

Eddie Williams said she then held the weapon over her head “in a dagger motion” before plunging it “with great force” into Mr Bryant’s chest.

Paramedics tried to save his life but he was eventually declared dead at the scene.

Police body-worn video footage showed Langley shouting: “Get away from me, I want to stab him. I killed him. I don’t care. I want him dead…I’m just so happy. I hate him so much… I hope he dies.”

After her arrest, she was filmed in a police car, saying: “I took a knife and I killed him.”

Prosecutor Nina Ellin KC said: “On September 11 she was down, fed up with various members of her family, she had issues with her car and financial problems. She had also been drinking.

“She was annoyed that her son wanted to play pool at Mr Bryant‘s pub and, in her mind, it was Mr Bryant who was at fault – he was the focus of her rage.

“So she took the largest kitchen knife from her home and she went to him and killed him. It was impulsive, it was irrational, but it was also deliberate and intentional.”

The trial continues.

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