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Pair arrested over stabbing of homeless Gillingham man found seriously hurt in Great Lines park near King's Bastion

By Lynn Cox

Two men have today been arrested in connection with the stabbing of a homeless man in Gillingham.

The pair - both 32 and from the town - are in custody and will be questioned over the attack as the 40-year-old remains in a serious condition in hospital.

In an unusual move, officers last night released a picture of the unnamed Eastern European victim - who was stabbed six times - in a bid to find witnesses.

Image released by police of a man stabbed in Gillingham

The victim - who had been sleeping rough on a mattress - was found with multiple stab wounds by a passerby walking across the Great Lines park.

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are investigating the attack, near the King's Bastion area on Monday night.

Last night, DCI Jon Clayden, who is leading the investigation, said: "It is unusual for us to release an image of a victim.

"However, it is important we are able to build a picture of the man's moments before he was assaulted.

"I would ask people to study the photo, do you know him? Did you see him yesterday? Where was he? What was he doing? If you can help, please call Kent Police.

"We are also particularly keen to hear from witnesses who may have seen two people, possibly males, in the area at around the time of the incident."

The tent where the injured man was living on the Great Lines. Picture: Steve Crispe

Officers were called at about 8.10pm to reports of an assault.

The Great Lines was cordoned off behind Brompton Academy while officers carried out investigations at the scene.

A tent was erected near trees which separate the school from the park, where the man had been sleeping on a mattress for about a month.

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A forensic team on the Great Lines after the stabbing. Picture: Steve Crispe
An officer searches for clues on the Great Lines. Picture: Steve Crispe
Several police vehicles on the Great Lines after the stabbing. Picture: Steve Crispe

A large area of the park, including an area covered by long grass, was taped off.

Forensic officers were combing the area for clues while other uniformed officers guarded the crime scene.

A dog walker, who did not want to be named, said: "This is terrible news. I hope he recovers.

"He is such a lovely, harmless person. He always says good morning and has been there for about a month."

The area where the homeless man was found injured is taped off. Picture: Steve Crispe
A cordon at the spot where the victim was found stabbed. Picture: Steve Crispe
Forensics officers work at the scene were a man was stabbed. Picture: Steve Crispe

Police said the injured man remains in a specialist care unit at a London hospital.

He is in a serious, but stable condition.

Video: Scene of the attack on a homeless man in Gillingham

Earlier, DCI Jon Clayden said: "The victim of this crime is homeless and has been sleeping on a mattress, he will likely be known to local people who use the area as a cut-through.

"The stabbing would have occurred in daylight.

"The victim was found staggering along The Great Lines by a witness who raised the alarm and called an ambulance."

DCI Jon Clayden, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate

Witnesses or anyone with information is asked to phone police on 101, quoting CAD reference 18-1477 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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