Jessica Collins

MOURNERS PAY RESPECT TO MURDER SUSPECT SHOT BY POLICE

Mourners have paid their respects to a father-of-four who was shot by police in connection with the brutal murder of a pensioner.

Billy Smith, known locally as ‘Curly Bill’ was initially arrested on suspicion of murdering 73-year-old Roy Blackman in his bungalow, but was bailed pending further investigation.

He then went missing, and police launched an appear before he was shot four times in the head during a standoff with police.

Friends and family turned out to pay their respects to the 36-year-old during a church service in Benenden, Kent, yesterday (wed).

A Kent Police spokesman said: “The funeral of William Smith is a private event for the family and there is no place for a police presence in the area.”

Local pubs closed for the day, while a spokesman for the George Hotel in Cranbrook, said it would be closing for a staff training day and meetings.

Roy’s funeral took place last month close to where he lived and worked in Smarden, Kent.

Eight people have so far been arrested in connection the brutal murder, while Mark Love, of Staplehurst, has been charged with aggravated burglary and murder and will appear in court later this month.

Roy was found with multiple blunt-force injuries inside his property on March 21. He was a self-taught mechanic and had lost his wife to cancer six years earlier.

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    • Associate news editor John kicked off his career in journalism when he was with news agency SWNS in its’ earliest days over 30 years ago. During this time he’s had the honor of working with some major newspaper titles including the Daily Express and The Sun, both as district and head office reporters.

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