Hun­dreds at­tend fu­neral of man shot by mur­der in­quiry of­fi­cers

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Curry House Fire - By Ed McCon­nell and Ju­lia Roberts

Hun­dreds of mourn­ers turned out to pay their re­spects to a fa­ther of four shot dead by po­lice dur­ing a mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Wil­liam Smith, known as Curly Bill, was wanted in con­nec­tion with the killing of pen­sioner Roy Black­man at his Bid­den­den bun­ga­low.

The 36-year-old, of Ten­ter­den Road, Gol­ford, near Cran­brook, was ini­tially ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of mur­der­ing the 73-year-old me­chanic but was bailed pend­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In April de­tec­tives launched an ap­peal for in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing his where­abouts.

Mr Smith, who worked as a builder and was born in Pem­bury, was traced to an or­chard in Smiths Lane, Goud­hurst, last month and shot four times in a stand-off.

Last Wed­nes­day, ex­actly a month af­ter his death, a horse­drawn car­riage car­ried Mr Smith’s cof­fin from his ru­ral home to the ser­vice at the Par­ish Church of St Ge­orge, Be­nen­den.

The pro­ces­sion of 10 lim­ou­sines and a num­ber of trucks laden with flo­ral trib­utes and pho­to­graphs then headed to­wards Siss­inghurst, pass­ing down Cran­brook High Street from the town’s war memo­rial be­fore reach­ing the ceme­tery in Gol­ford Road at around 3pm.

A Kent Po­lice spokesman said there was no plan for a po­lice pres­ence in the area, while a num­ber of pubs shut for the day, in­clud­ing those in Ten­ter­den.

Mr Black­man’s fu­neral took place last month in Smar­den, where he lived and worked for many years.

His cof­fin was trans­ported to St Michael’s Church on the back of a Black­man Mo­tors’ flatbed truck.

To date, eight peo­ple, in­clud­ing Mr Smith, have been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mur­der of Mr Black­man.

Mark Love, of Frit­ten­den Road, Sta­ple­hurst, has been charged with ag­gra­vated bur­glary and mur­der.

An in­quest open­ing heard Mr Smith died as a re­sult of gun­shot wounds to his head and chest.

The brief hear­ing was told that two po­lice marks­men shot him twice each dur­ing a pre-planned op­er­a­tion at Goud­hurst just af­ter 8pm on Sun­day, May 1.

The op­er­a­tion was part of a mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Mr Black­man was found blud­geoned to death at Heart­say Bun­ga­low, Head­corn Road, Bid- den­den, on Mon­day, March 21, af­ter a vi­o­lent bur­glary.

The In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Com­plaints Com­mis­sion is hold­ing its own in­quiry, and is un­able to say when it will con­clude. Two non­po­lice-is­sue firearms were re­cov­ered from the scene.

Mr Smith was mar­ried to stu­dent mid­wife Nancy Smith.

Mourn­ers, top, and flow­ers, bot­tom, for the fu­neral of Wil­liam Smith, left, who was shot by po­lice dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mur­der of Roy Black­man, right

Pic­tures: Andy Pay­ton

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