A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after an elderly tourist was stabbed to death in front of drinkers inside a seaside hotel’s bar.
Police were called to the Blackhorse Hotel in Sidmouth, Devon, on Thursday night after reports that an elderly man had been assaulted.
They arrived to find customers battling to save a 71-year-old man who was suffering from stab wounds.
Paramedics tried to resuscitate him but the victim was pronounced dead a short while later.
A man aged 41 was arrested on suspicion of murder and he remains in police custody.
Detectives investigating the 10pm incident think the two men had exchanged words but did not know one another.
The victim, who has not been named, was understood to be visiting the pretty seaside resort, famed for its beach, floral displays and Regency architecture.
An employee at the popular bar, restaurant and hotel said he had checked in earlier in the week.
The staff member, who asked not to be named, said: “Everyone is pretty shook up about it.”
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Officers were called shortly after 10pm after receiving a report that a man had been assaulted.
“A 71 year old man was found at the scene. Despite efforts of officers and paramedics the man was pronounced deceased a short time later.
“It is understood the man was visiting the area. A 41-year-old local man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and is in police custody.
“We believe this is an isolated incident. We understand news of this incident will be troubling for many in the Sidmouth area and to reassure local people there will be some extra officers on patrol in the town.”
A spokesman for the hotel said they were not able to comment because of the police inquiry.
The spokesman said “We understand that many in the area this will find this troubling, but it was an isolated incident. The man was seventy-one years old so has been pronounced by paramedics as deceased.”