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Man 'serious' after pub axe attack

One man remains in a "serious" condition following an alleged knife and axe attack that left a 27-year-old builder dead, police said.

Officers were called to a "major disturbance" at the Kings Arms in Tamerton Foliot, Plymouth, Devon, at 1.30am on New Year's Day.

Horrified onlookers reported a man was in possession of a knife and axe, with others later reporting "disorder" at the scene.

The incident spread from the village pub, which had held a New Year's Eve disco, to the tiny green outside.

A 27-year-old man, named locally as Tanis Bhandari - a builder, suffered serious injuries and was pronounced dead in hospital.

Paramedics took two other men to Derriford Hospital with knife injuries, which were not believed to be life-threatening at the time.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said today: "One man remains in hospital with serious injuries."

Police are treating Mr Bhandari's death as suspicious and two men, aged 20 and 21, both from Plymouth, have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Local residents paid tribute to Mr Bhandari and expressed their shock at the incident on the Kings Arms Facebook page.

A statement posted on the page said: "On New Year's Eve a terrible attack was made on a lovely group of people on the way home from a great night in our pub.

"It was an unprovoked violent attack with a tragic consequences. That I feel devastated is an absolute understatement.

"I wish all the families of those involved my deepest deepest sympathy, not that this will help them in any way now but, I wish I could turn back the clock so that these events would not occur."

Police received calls to the pub between 1am and 1.30am, with officers arriving at the scene a short time later.

An axe was later recovered, with residents asked to check their gardens and bins for a missing knife.

Mr Bhandari was taken to Derriford Hospital by ambulance but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Sue Sutton-Smythe wrote on the pub's Facebook page: "My thoughts are with the family and friends of the young men. Knowing some of them I know they will support and comfort each other as much as is possible following this awful tragedy. Sleep peacefully Tanis."

Lee Ryder added: "Can't believe it, I grew up in the same village as Tanis, he's always been a kind lad, you will truly be missed bud, my thoughts are with his family and may whoever done this get what he deserves."

Trina Crawshaw wrote: "Can't believe this happened in our beautiful village which we're already fighting to save. Such an awful tragic event. My thoughts are with all the families involved and those who witnessed such an event. It's heartbreaking whatever time of year, but seems especially cruel on night we should be celebrating and coming together."

Andy Dymond-Park wrote on his Facebook page: "Horrendous events to witness last night and absolutely terrifying, my heart goes out to the victims and their friends and family at this sad start to the new year after what was such a good night."

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

Detective Superintendent Jim Colwell, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said yesterday: "We are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or who was in the Tamerton Foliot area between 1am-2am to contact the police.

"We have established a cordon at Station Road to assist with scene investigation and our officers will be active in the area conducting inquiries.

"Please speak to us, call us on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously if you have any information that could help us with our inquiries."

Tamerton Foliot is a historic village situated to the north of Plymouth and popular with walkers due to its access to local countryside.

Devon County Council says on its website: "Tamerton is an ancient settlement, recorded as early as the 6th century as the landing place of three Celtic saints, Indract, Dominic and Budoc.

"By the time of the Domesday Book it is recorded as Tambretona and by the 1100s it was in the possession of the Foliots, a Norman family who gave their name to the settlement. It continued as a farming and fishing community until the 19th century, when it began to prosper as the centre of market gardens supplying Plymouth."

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