Hundreds attend funeral of man shot by murder inquiry officers
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