The owner of a tapas bar where a man was fatally stabbed is distraught by the death of a regular customer.

A 49-year-old man died in hospital this morning after he was stabbed in the Tapestry in Lower Richmond Road shortly before 9pm yesterday, April 22.

Lucia Fiorini, who has owned the restaurant for 14 years, was not working when the stabbing took place.

Colleagues told her the victim was a regular customer, known to the restaurant as James.

Miss Fiorini, 43, said: “It is unbelievable. I am so sad I am just speechless. I would never expect this to happen and I would never expect James to die.

“He was a very nice guy and a very decent kind of person.”

People living near the bar were also shocked.

One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the restaurant by Mortlake Green was a relaxed place.

He said: “It is really quite chilled out. You go there just to have a bit of tapas and relax so it is really surprising.

“There is a pub opposite where people go to watch the TV so it is quite calm in there.”

Paul Dean, 43, who lives next door to the Tapestry, said he was putting his children to bed when he saw flashing blue lights outside.

He said: “There were two ambulances, eight police cars and one police can so I thought something really violent had happened.

“I didn’t hear anything though.

“It is not the kind of thing that happens round here.”

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called at around 8.50pm yesterday evening to reports of a stabbing on Lower Richmond Road.

“We sent a single responder by car, two ambulance crews, two ambulance officers and London’s Air Ambulance to the scene.

“One man, reported to be in his 50s, was treated by the London Air Ambulance doctor for an abdominal wound.

“He was taken to St George’s Hospital as a priority, escorted by the doctor from London’s Air Ambulance.”

A 50-year-old man was detained at the scene and has been taken to a south-west London police station.

Police confirmed the stabbing was not a glassing but would will not say if a weapon had been recovered.

Investigations are ongoing.