Dad-of-four stabbed to death as he celebrated his twin girls' second birthday party, with boy, 16, in court for 'murder'

A DAD was stabbed to death while celebrating his twin daughters' second birthday party, a court heard today.

James Gibbons had rushed to the aid of a homeless man, who he had kindly given a plate of food to just moments before, at the party in Laindon, Essex.

Jurors heard how two youths had hassled the man – causing dad-of-four James to warn them to "get lost" or he would "knock them out".

They returned around five to ten minutes later with more teens aged around 12 or 13 and two older lads, who were around 17 and 19.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how James had chased the group off before returning with four stab wounds to his stomach.

He was rushed to hospital with horrific bleeding but sadly couldn't be saved.

A 16-year-old boy, who can't be named, denies a single count of murder.

The court was told there is "no dispute" the teen stabbed James, but the case revolves around whether he was acting in self-defence.

James had been celebrating his twin girls' second birthday with his family at home on May 2 when the horror unfolded.

Homeless man Christopher French had come to the house asking for a meal, when James obliged with a plate of BBQ food.

The pair were chatting outside when the group of youths walked past – with one grabbing Mr French by the hood, it was said.

Jurors heard a second then tried taking the plate of food away causing James to step in to help.

A row then broke out when the two youths returned with more teenagers, it was said.


Mr French told how he saw James chase the youngsters down an alleyway before returning moments later "flapping his arms".

He pulled his top up to reveal he had been stabbed before falling backwards.

A post-mortem examination revealed he had been knifed with a blade more than 15cm long and between 1.6cm and 2cm wide, the court was told.

Simon Taylor QC, prosecuting, said: "What caused Mr Gibbons’ death is that he was stabbed by the defendant who sits at the back of the court.

"This stabbing occurred just yards from Mr Gibbons’ address.

“Mr Gibbons was aged 34 and he had been celebrating his twin daughters’ second birthday when the incident occurred."

The trial continues.

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