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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / Man killed ‘by rocks’ named as friends say he’d been in ‘confrontation with poachers’

Man killed ‘by rocks’ named as friends say he’d been in ‘confrontation with poachers’

Tributes have been paid to an angler who died after rocks were reportedly thrown at a Kent tourist spot.

Friends believe Charles Hilder, 66, was involved in a confrontation with poachers before his death yesterday afternoon.

Armed police were called to Lullingstone Castle at 5.21pm on Thursday where the victim died at the scene, Kent Police said.

Dad-of-five Mr Hilder is believed to have been a member of the Kingfisher Angling and Preservation society, which has voiced members’ sorrow at his death.

And his daughter Stephanie wrote: “Last night our hearts broke to hear that our dad sadly passed away.

“Words can’t explain how we are feeling at the moment. Sleep well Dad. Give everyone a hug from me.”

In a statement on the group’s website, the angling society said: “The Society has been shocked and greatly saddened to hear of the death of Mr Charles Hilder at Lullingstone on Thursday 28 May 2020.

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

Charles Hilder and daughter Stephanie

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

A Kent Police spokesman earlier said: “It was reported that rocks were being thrown.”

However it is not known if any of the rocks hit Mr Hilder.

The spokesman added: “It is reported he may have been involved in an altercation with two boys or teenagers near to a lake within in the grounds, prior to his death.”

One local aged 42, who lives nearby said: “One person said he was in the grounds of the castle and that he was fishing.

Police forensic officers looking round the boats by the lake
(Image: PA)

“There is a private lake on the grounds where you can pay to go fishing it’s quite expensive I think.

“Eynsford has a very high population of elderly people and a lot of them go fishing.”

The incident came after local residents expressed concerns over anti-social behaviour, with one saying: “Something like this was coming.”

Writing to local Tory MP Laura Trott on her Facebook page, Stephen Jury said: “Something needs to be done!

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene in Lullingstone Castle near Lullingstone, Kent
(Image: Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

“The level of anti-social behaviour in and around the villages has become a joke and there isn’t a policeman in sight until it is too late!

“There have been several instances over the last week or so.

“Why does it take the death of an innocent man for something to be done? I just feel for that poor man’s family but something like this was coming!”

Police were seen placing rocks in evidence bags
(Image: Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

Ms Trott, who became MP for Sevenoaks in December’s election, said: “All our thoughts go to the victim’s family and loved ones at this time.

“I am speaking with the police and the local councillors this morning and I will raise your concerns regarding rising anti-social behaviour as a matter of urgency.

“This is something a few constituents have also emailed me about and I am very concerned by the reports.”

Lullingstone Castle officials declined to comment on the ongoing situation.

Police are investigating the tragedy which happened yesterday afternoon
(Image: Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

The historic castle is a 15th century manor house which overlooks a stunning 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.

Top news stories from Mirror Online

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

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kent Police anonymously on 0800 555111, or by completing an online form at  www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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