James Attfield death: Heartbroken mother in emotional appeal to catch killer of "vulnerable, gentle" son

Julie Finch breaks down in tears today.
Julie Finch at today's news conference. Photo: ITV News Anglia

The mother of a vulnerable man stabbed to death in a frenzied attack in Colchester has appealed for help to catch his killer.

James Attfield was struck down in Castle Park on Saturday.

James Attfield was stabbed 102 times.
James Attfield was stabbed 102 times. Credit: Essex Police

On Wednesday afternoon police confirmed that one person has been arrested, but stressed that the investigation is still very much active.

At a press conference in Chelmsford earlier in the day, Mr Attfield's mother Julie Finch painted a picture of a quiet, "cowardly" man.

She described him as a loner who loved karaoke and someone who would rather hide away than be in a crowd of people. She also revealed that he was a keen MK Dons supporter.

James' mother Julie Finch talks to the press in Chelmsford today.
James' mother Julie Finch talks to the press in Chelmsford today. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Holding hands with her husband and daughter for support, she said she'd been left totally numb and appealed to the public for help in finding his killer.

"It was a senseless and frenzied attack on a gentle, vulnerable young man.

So please, if anyone saw my son on Friday, please come forward. Somebody somewhere knows something.

No matter how insignificant you may think it is, please inform the police. The maniac is still out there."

– Julie Finch, James' mother

James was found dying in Colchester's Castle Park on Saturday morning - he'd been stabbed 102 times.

The CCTV image below shows him at the River Lodge pub just eight hours before his death.

CCTV pictures released of James drinking in the River Lodge pub just before his death.
CCTV pictures released of James drinking in the River Lodge pub just before his death. Credit: Essex Police

Today, diving teams and specially trained officers continued searching the waterways for the discarded weapon.

Divers search for the weapon along the River Colne in Colchester.
Divers search for the weapon along the River Colne in Colchester. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Ms Finch told the press this afternoon that Mr Attfield had been trying to rebuild his life after being hit by a car 4 years ago that left him with a severe brain injury.

"His speech was slightly affected, and he suffered short-term memory loss and these things obviously made him very vulnerable.

James was very aware of his disabilities and would avoid crowded places and situations where he could get injured again."

– Julie Finch, James' mother
Ms Finch leaves the press conference alongside her husband.
Ms Finch leaves the press conference alongside her husband. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Why James was attacked remains a mystery.

His mother hopes that today's appeal will lead to fresh information that may help catch her son's killer.

Read more: Colchester man arrested by officers investigating murder of James Attfield