Yob, 14, guilty of murder after stabbing dad-of-three who confronted him outside home

A schoolboy who knifed a dad-of-three after he was confronted outside his home has been found guilty of murder.

James Markham, 45 was stabbed in the back, armpit and chest after confronting the 14-year-old boy.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had already been banned from the area by a criminal behaviour order which he had flouted before, the Old Bailey heard.

The local area in Chingford, East London had become a hotspot for antisocial behaviour and Mr Markham was fed-up with it, jurors were told.

The gang had been verbally abusing one of Mr Markham’s daughters, it was said at the time.

The stone mason was said to have grabbed a drill bit and went to confront the youths just before 6pm in August last year.

A Metropolitan police spokesman said: “A member of James’s family saw a dispute but her view was restricted and she hadn’t realised it was James who the teenagers were arguing.

“James had approached the group with a drill bit in an apparent attempt to scare them off.

“One of the group advanced, armed with a knife, and the pair began swinging at each other.

“James was struck three times – in the back, armpit and chest. The latter injury pierced his lung and would prove fatal.

“A member of the public who had tried to intervene came to James’s aid as the teenager and the rest of the group fled the scene.

“James’s frantic family rushed down from their home to try to help him.

“Officers who came to the scene first administered first aid but despite their best efforts, and that of emergency paramedics and members of the public, James died at the scene.

“The teenager had dropped his mobile phone as he ran away and was quickly identified.

“He was arrested on suspicion of murder two days later and made no comment in police interviews.”

The boy, now 15, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will be sentenced on August 26.

He was also convicted of possession of an offensive weapon.

Detective Inspector John Marriot, Specialist Crime, said: “James was a loving family man who leaves behind a partner and three children.

“That day they were met with a horrific scenario that no family should have to endure. I hope this conviction will provide them with some small measure of comfort as they continue to grieve James.

“The teenager in this incident was subject to a Criminal Behaviour Order and should never have been in the area. He had flouted it on a number of occasions.

“The knife he used was never recovered, indicating he went to some lengths to try to distance himself from this horrific crime.

“But my team worked to collate a wealth of witnesses, CCTV and forensic evidence proving his guilt. He will now spend a substantial amount of time behind bars.

“I’d like to thank the skill and determination of my team is working to deliver justice to James’s family. Our thoughts remain with them.”

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