Two arrested over teenage boy's stab death in Hastings

 

A 31-year-old man was being questioned by police today after being arrested on suspicion of murdering a 17-year-old boy found stabbed to death near a pub, and a 41-year-old man is due to be interviewed later.

The teenager, named locally as Jacob Woudstra, died shortly after the attack at the Shah pub, in Hastings, East Sussex.

Paramedics fought to save his life after he was stabbed twice in the chest.

Sussex Police said the incident did not appear to be a random attack.

Emergency services were called to the scene near the pub in Mount Pleasant Road at around 3.20pm yesterday and the street and surrounding areas were sealed off while inquiries were carried out.

Police appealed for anyone with information about the stabbing to come forward.

Superintendent Trevor Botting said: "This is a tragic incident and one that has shocked the local community. Our thoughts are with the victim's family, who understandably are devastated by the events of this afternoon.

"It is too early to speculate as to the circumstances of this tragedy, although early indications are that this was not a random attack.

"Our job now is to gather as much information as we can to build up a picture of what happened and to identify those responsible.

"We need the public's help to do this and would urge anyone who thinks they have information but has not yet contacted police to do so as a matter of urgency."

A South East Coast Ambulance spokesman said the teenager was treated for two stab wounds to the chest.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "Paramedics fought to save the boy who had been stabbed in the chest, but sadly he died."

The second man's arrest was announced this lunchtime.

The 41-year-old, from Bexhill, is being held in police custody and is due to be interviewed over the death today.

The 31-year-old man from Rye, who was arrested on suspicion of murder yesterday, remains in police custody, Sussex Police said.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Raymer said: "Officers and staff have been working tirelessly to follow up and investigate every line of inquiry available to us, whilst supporting the victim's family who have, understandably, been left devastated by this tragedy.

"We currently have two people in custody who have both been arrested on suspicion of murder.

"However, inquiries into this incident remain active and we would like to hear from anyone who has information about what happened but has not yet come forward to contact us immediately.

"Our thoughts remain with the family of the victim whilst we do everything we can to ensure that his killers are caught and brought to justice."

Superintendent Trevor Botting added: "We would like to reassure the residents of Hastings that this does not appear to be a random attack. However, we understand that a crime as horrific as murder - particularly when the victim is so young - can be deeply upsetting for the community.

"I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all those people that have helped the police so far with this investigation. Without you, it would make our job so much harder to find those responsible and ultimately get the justice that the victim's family deserve."

:: Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101, quoting Operation Chinook, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

PA

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