Pub landlord attacked by ex-employee who thought he was having affair with his wife

Miguel Batista and Craig Allen tried to kill David Brown at the Crickets Arms in Meopham, Kent, because Batista thought he was having an affair with his wife, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

Cricketers Inn Meopham
The incident happened in the Cricketers Inn in Meopham, Kent. (Google Maps)

A man teamed up with his brother-in-law and tried to kill a pub landlord in a row over an alleged affair before one of the attackers was stabbed to death when his knife was turned on him, a court heard.

Miguel Batista and Craig Allen burst into the pub armed with shovels and blades, aiming to kill publican David Brown.

Brown was left fighting for his life, but Allen was stabbed to death and his accomplice fled, a court heard.

Maidstone Crown Court was told that Batista - also known as Alex - and Allen went into the Cricketers Inn in Meopham, Kent, on 5 November last year, allegedly intending to kill Brown.

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The court heard Batista, who had just been sacked as an employee at the pub, wanted revenge because he believed the publican was sleeping with his wife.

The two hooded men armed themselves with a 'Rambo First Blood II' blade, a silver knife and a shovel after forcing their way into the flat above the pub to attack Brown.

But the jury heard how despite injuring Brown, Batista later fled leaving Allen behind where he died from a knife wound, inflicted by the landlord as he defended himself.

Batista, of no fixed address, denies attempted murder.

A general view of Maidstone Crown Court in Kent.   (Photo by Gareth Fuller - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Batista is standing trial for attempted murder at Maidstone Crown Court. (Getty)

Prosecutor Toby Fitzgerald told the court that the attack happened at around 9pm on 5 November while Brown was upstairs above the pub in his small flat.

The pair knocked on the door before "setting about attacking him" but the assault took a "dramatic" twist when Brown took an opportunity to defend himself by grabbing a knife.

Fitzgerald said: "Batista ended up fleeing the pub, leaving South African-born Mr Brown seriously injured. Later that evening he was arrested near the M25."

The jury heard Brown became landlord of the Cricketers in November 2021 and hired Batista and his partner last February.

The couple married in July of that year and lived together above the pub, but Batista and his wife had a "stormy relationship" and on one occasion in October 2022 Brown had stepped in during an argument.

"The following day the landlord spoke with Batista and told him he could not behave like that and if he did then he would have to leave his employment and his home," the prosecutor told the court.

"Mr Brown offered to help her but that would involve getting the police involved."

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Five days later, Batista’s wife spoke to Brown, who went on to sack Batista and report the incident to police, the court heard.

Officers spoke with the couple and Batista was arrested and released and moved out of the upstairs flat - although he was allowed to sleep in a car in the pub's car park.

Fitzgerald said: "As his world was crumbling, Batista began to believe that Mr Brown was having an affair with his wife. On November 3, he sent his wife a message which read: ‘This is killing me.’”

On the day of the attack, the defendant's mood changed from downbeat to "set on revenge" against the man he viewed as "the author of his misfortune" after losing his job, home and wife.

Mr Fitzgerald told the court: "At 7.43pm on 5 November, she called Batista saying she no longer wanted to be with him and he blamed the landlord for the break-up."

The court has heard how in the aftermath of the incident, Brown was arrested on suspicion of murder.

The South African feared he would never see his children again after accepting he had caused the injuries which killed Allen.

He told the court: "I was cautioned by police after coming out of hospital and spent the night in a police cell before being interviewed."

Brown described the night of the attack when the men came to his flat, but told the court: "All my actions were in self-defence."

The case continues.