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Murder conviction over Maidstone pub landlord stabbing

|News, Violent crime

A woman has been convicted of the murder of a pub landlord in Maidstone, who was stabbed in the street outside his pub.

Matthew Bryant died at the scene outside the Hare and Hounds pub on 11 September 2023 after being stabbed three times by Stephanie Langley. The wounds inflicted on him were described at Maidstone Crown Court as “unsurvivable”.

The victim had previously been related to Langley by marriage but had not seen each other in more than 20 years. In March 2023, she visited the pub and met the victim. She immediately became aggressive, saying she hated him and shouting that she was going to kill him.

Langley returned to the pub on the day of the murder and when he went to serve someone, she told the customer to “get a drink while he is still alive”. The victim called the police as Langley left the pub.

She drove a little further away, parked up and returned to confront the victim while he was on the phone to the police, stabbing him during the course of the 999 call. Langley repeatedly said after the murder that she was glad her victim was dead. Earlier in the day, she had sent a text message to her son, saying that “I will also kill him” in reference to the victim.

Jody Tyman from CPS South East said: “This is an absolutely tragic case. The victim posed no threat to the defendant or anyone else, despite the defendant’s claims to the contrary.

“He had called the police at the time he was killed to ask for their help, after the defendant made various threats against him, saying repeatedly that she wanted him dead.

“Langley claimed in court that she had never intended to hurt her victim, but we were able to demonstrate that her actions on that night were deliberate and intentional and amounted to murder. “Our thoughts are with Matthew’s family and friends and those members of the public who witnessed this appalling attack and tried to help save his life.”

Notes to editors

  • Stephanie Langley [DOB: 21/04/1969] was convicted of murder following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
  • She had previously pleaded guilty to having a bladed article in a public place.
  • Jody Tyman is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS South East.

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