Maidstone woman stabbed pub landlord to death with kitchen knife

A Maidstone woman stabbed a pub landlord to death with a kitchen knife. Stephanie Langley, 54, was jailed for life at Maidstone Crown Court.

It follows her premeditated and unprovoked assault last year, which led to the death of Matthew Bryant. Langley fatally wounded Mr Bryant, 52, at around 6pm on September 11, 2023 in Lower Boxley Road.

She had driven to the Hare and Hounds public house and argued with Mr Bryant, just 20 minutes before she attacked him. angley then drove to Maidstone East train station and removed a large kitchen knife from her car before returning to the scene, where Mr Bryant was outside the pub on the phone to 999 operators reporting the earlier argument.

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Langley approached him and knocked the device to the floor. When the victim turned and bent down to retrieve his phone, Langley stabbed him in the back twice before striking a fatal blow to his chest.

Kent Police officers attended and arrested her at the scene a short while afterwards. Langley, of Wilsons Lane, East Farleigh, was charged with murder and possessing a knife in a public place. The 54-year-old denied murdering Mr Bryant but pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon.

Stephanie Langley has been jailed for life
Stephanie Langley has been jailed for life -Credit:Kent Police

She was convicted of the murder on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court, and remanded in custody. Langley was sentenced on Thursday, May 30, 2024.

She was told she will have to serve a minimum of 24 years before she could be considered for parole.

Detective Chief Inspector David Higham, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "Langley murdered a much-loved husband and popular landlord in cold blood. She planned her attack, stashing the murder weapon in her car ahead of her trip to the Hare and Hounds that evening.

"The offender gave such little regard to her actions that she carried out the attack in broad daylight. I would like to thank all the witnesses that stepped forward to help our investigation, as well as the officers whose hard work led to her conviction

"Now the case is concluded, I hope that Mr Bryant’s friends and family can grieve their loss, knowing that justice has been served against the person responsible for his death."