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Suspected murder victim stabbed five times by county lines drugs dealer, 17, in Gillingham attack, court hears

The victim at the centre of a murder investigation was stabbed five times by a county lines drugs dealer after a row in the street, a court has heard.

Anthony Eastwood was killed in Fox Street, Gillingham, on the afternoon of Friday, December 20 after allegedly meeting a 17-year-old to buy drugs.

The scene of the murder on Friday, December 20 in Fox Street, Gillingham. Picture: UKNIP
The scene of the murder on Friday, December 20 in Fox Street, Gillingham. Picture: UKNIP

The boy, from Barking, Essex, has been charged with his murder and appeared at Medway Magistrates' Court this morning.

He was arrested at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles, France, on Saturday morning while travelling on a coach with his mother.

The teenager cannot be named due to his age. His mother, aged in her 40s, was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender but has been released pending further investigation.

During the brief hearing he wore a black puffer jacket with a white top and spoke only to confirm his name and details.

Prosecuting Josie Clarke told the court how Mr Eastwood was stabbed five times - leaving him with four wounds on the torso and one on the head.

She said: "At about 1pm Mr Eastwood met [the suspect] in a drug deal related to county lines dealing."

Anthony Eastwood was stabbed to death in Gillingham
Anthony Eastwood was stabbed to death in Gillingham

The teenager was remanded in youth detention accommodation to appear at Maidstone Crown Court this Wednesday.

The charge comes days after Mr Eastwood’s sister made an emotional plea to find his killer.

An inquest into his death also opened this morning at Maidstone’s Archbishop’s Palace.

The hearing was told the 35-year-old was living in Week Street, Maidstone, at the time of his death.

Police were called to Fox Street to reports of a male had been assaulted.

A floral tribute left at the scene of the killing in Fox Street, Gillingham Picture: UKNIP
A floral tribute left at the scene of the killing in Fox Street, Gillingham Picture: UKNIP

Emergency services found Mr Eastwood on the floor, and he appeared to have been stabbed.

Extensive efforts were made to revive him at the scene but he was pronounced dead 45 minutes later.

A post-mortem was later carried out which determined his death was due to a stab wound to the chest and abdomen.

Assistant coroner for mid Kent and Medway Ian Brownwell adjourned the inquest while criminal proceedings continue.

Police launched a murder investigation after recovering a knife following the stabbing in an alleyway near The Monarch pub.

His sister said of her brother: "He was lovely, big hearted. He would do anything for anyone."

Detectives are continuing to investigate the incident and still need to trace a large knife despite recovering one from the scene shortly after the attack.

Anyone living in Fox Street or the surrounding area is asked to report the discovery of such a weapon by calling 01634 792209 quoting reference 46/242350/19.

You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555111.

Murder detectives at the scene

Additional reporting by Katie May Nelson

To get the latest updates on ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

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