Teens arrested over Lullingstone Castle death

Two teenagers have been detained on suspicion of manslaughter following the death of a 66-year-old man at a medieval castle near Dartford.

There was shock and sadness a the death of Charles Hilder, from Romford, following a “disturbance” at the 15th-century Lullingstone Castle in Eynsford last month.

Mr Hilder collapsed and later died from a heart attack after a confrontation which began while he was fishing, police said previously.

There had been reports that rocks were thrown at the Kent beauty spot.

Today, June 25, Kent Police have announced that an 18-year-old and 17-year-old, both male, have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

The pair were detained at 6.35am on Thursday after police attended a property in Keston, south-east London. They remain in custody.

Detective Chief Inspector Ivan Beasley said: “We are continuing to gather information to help us establish the full circumstances leading up to Mr Hilder’s death and I would like to thank everyone who has provided us with information, so far.

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“It remains important we speak to anyone else who may have attended Lullingstone Castle around this time, who have yet to contact the police.

“This includes visitors who may have taken photographs on their phones, or who may have video footage recorded on vehicle dashcams. If you haven’t already done so, please check any devices which may hold crucial information.”

Lullingstone Castle is a 15th century manor house which overlooks a 15-acre lake and has been home to the same family since it was built.

Its extensive grounds have been visited by royalty including Henry VIII and Queen Anne.

It has been featured in TV series as well as being a popular walking spot with local residents.

But there have been concerns in the community over anti-social behaviour in surrounding villages and a lack of police presence.

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According to a previous police statement, it is understood that, at around 5pm, Mr Hilder was fishing from a boat in a private lake when he saw two boys at the bank near to the weir and asked them to leave.

A brief dispute took place, during which items were allegedly thrown towards Mr Hilder.

Several minutes later a further verbal argument took place between the boys and Mr Hilder in a car park, which is by the lake and near the castle gate.

After the boys had left, at around 5.50pm Mr Hilder collapsed and later died.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to call Kent Police 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

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