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Romford man dies after altercation with suspected poachers in Kent castle

Officers were called to Lullingstone Castle on Thursday evening (credit: @999London)

Police investigating the death of a Romford man in a castle in Kent are appealing for information.

Charles Hilder, 66, from Romford, was sadly pronounced dead at Lullingstone Castle, in Eynsford, shortly after 5.20pm on Thursday, 28 May.

Detectives suspect he was involved in an altercation with two male teenagers near a lake within the castle grounds, prior to his death.

The boys may have thrown rocks at Mr Hilder although it is still unclear if any hit him. A post-mortem examination will be held to determine his cause of death.

Mr Hilder is believed to have been restocking the lake with fish at the time of the incident.

Officers are appealing for witnesses to come forward and are particularly keen to speak to the owner of a drone that was flying in the area at the time.

“We continue to appeal for information from anybody who witnessed the incident or saw two young people in the vicinity of the lake between 12pm and 7pm,” said Detective Chief Inspector Gavin Moss. “One of them may have been carrying a fishing rod.

“There were lots of people in the area including cyclists, joggers, dog walkers, anglers and golfers. Some will have taken photographs or videos that may assist us with our enquiries and we are particularly keen to speak to anybody who was near the gatehouse on the estate or in a car park next to the lake.”

Detectives would also like to obtain dashcam footage from any vehicles that traveled along Castle Road or Shoreham Road between 12pm and 7pm.

Mr Hilder’s fishing club, the Kingfisher Angling Preservation Society, has released a statement:

“The Society has been shocked and greatly saddened to hear of the death of Mr Charles Hilder.

“Although the exact circumstances surrounding Charlie’s death are unclear we believe that Charlie died after a confrontation with poachers.

“At this stage we would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Charlie’s family and friends.”

Anyone with information that may assist Kent Police with their investigation should call them on 01622 604100, quoting reference 28-1127.

Anybody with video footage can make a report through the Kent Police section of the Major Incident Public Reporting Site: https://mipp.police.uk/

You can also contact Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or by completing an online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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