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Man arrested after diner stabbed with fork at The Copperfield restaurant in Shorne

The Copperfield pub in Shorne

The chemical and fork attack happened at The Copperfield in Shorne

A man has been arrested after chemicals were thrown in a pub diner's face - before he was stabbed in the back with a fork.

The 25-year-old, from Strood, is being held on suspicion of causing grievous  bodily harm at The Copperfield, in Shorne, near Gravesend, yesterday.

The alleged victim, a 26-year-old man from Gravesend, remains seriously ill in intensive care.

Kent Police said he was targeted when he refused to go outside and fight a man as he ate a meal with his girlfriend.

It is alleged the attacker sprayed a household substance - believed to be used for cleaning - in his face that caused burning and problems with breathing... before stabbing him in the back with a fork.

The victim suffered swollen airways, leaving him choking for air, as well as burns to his face and eyes.

He was also left with stab wounds to his back and was taken to Medway Maritime Hospital.

He remains in an intensive treatment unit today, although he is stable and his injuries are not considered life-threatening. Police at The Copperfields after the attack on Sunday

Police at The Copperfields after the attack on Sunday

Detectives do not believe it was a random attack.

Shocked diners today spoke of their horror at witnessing the attack, which happened at the pub - popular for its Sunday carvery - at about 5.30pm yesterday.

One diner, who tended to the man following the attack, said the attacker pulled a squeezy bottle from his pocket before spraying it in the man's face.

She said: "The restaurant was absolutely ram-packed with people, families and children.

"People didn't know what was happening. They thought it was just a random attack.

"I think there was a bit of a kerfuffle and during that the guy was stabbed with a fork.

"We'd taken his top off because we didn't know what had been thrown at him and could see where the fork had gone in.

“He was choking and throwing up and his throat started to swell up because he'd swallowed some of it.

"It had splashed off him and hit other people. One woman was screaming 'it's hit my baby, it's hit my baby'.

"he threw it all over his face, it was in his mouth and there was just sheer panic. people didn't know what was happening..." – witness to pub attack

"The police came and the ambulance and the fire brigade and everyone had to stay while the police took statements.

"The first aider wasn't on hand so I tried to help him. but we didn't know what it was. I don't know how long it took for the ambulance to arrive, probably about 10 minutes but it seemed to take forever."

Kent Police said officers were called to the pub by ambulance staff at just after 6pm.

DI Ivan Beasley said: "This was not a random attack as we believe the victim and suspect are known to each other.

"We also believe the liquid substance used was a household substance used for cleaning.

Witnesses or anyone with information is urged to phone Kent Police on 101, quoting reference XY/033496/12, or Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. 

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