Boys, 14, arrested after dad stabbed to death 'defending daughter' in east London

"This has to stop... we need policing on the street..." said local MP Iain Duncan Smith

A father who was stabbed to death after confronting a group of teenagers was “a man with a good heart and good soul”, according to a close friend.

James Markham, 45, was attacked after reportedly trying to defend his daughter in Chingford, east London, on Monday evening.

The Metropolitan Police said two 14-year-old boys have been arrested, one on suspicion of murder and the other arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Police at the scene of the attack in east London

A family friend, who was tearful as she approached the scene of the stabbing and did not want to be named, said: “He was my friend, my neighbour.

“He was kind, a lovely man, a worker.

“He would wake up at 5am, come back 6pm, doing the daily routine with the kids, always with the kids.”

She added: “We are devastated for Jamie.

“He was kind, a good person, someone who will always be there for you.

“Anything that you need, he’ll always be there, fixing anything that you need from the house.

“He was always working.

“He was a very good person, a man with a good heart, a good soul, he didn’t deserve that.”

Flowers left at the scene in Chingford

Bouquets of flowers and a card were laid in a parking area on Churchill Terrace, where the incident happened and where one police officer remained patrolling on Thursday.

A note with one bouquet read: “Thinking of you all. You will be in our thoughts and prayers. Much love. 37th Chingford Scout Group xx.”

At 6.20pm on Monday, emergency services were called to the scene and found Mr Markham fatally injured.

Despite the efforts of the emergency services and members of the public, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination found he died of a stab wound to the lung.

His next of kin are being supported by specialist officers.

Both suspects are in custody at an east London police station.

Detective Inspector John Marriott, of the Met’s specialist crime command, said: “We believe that James confronted a group of youths causing a disturbance and was stabbed as a result.

“The brutality of this response is beyond shocking and our thoughts are with James’s family, who have been left devastated by their loss.

“The arrests of these two individuals is a significant development but we still need the public’s help to build a full picture of exactly what happened on Monday evening.

“I know that there were a number of people present at the time of the murder.

“I want them to come forward.

“I also believe there will be parents who know that their child was there, or was involved.

“I am appealing for them to do the sensible thing and get in touch with us.

“A dedicated team of officers is working to piece together the tragic circumstances that led to this murder and to bring those responsible to justice.”

Former Conservative Party leader and MP for Chingford & Woodford Green, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, visited the scene with the force’s borough commander.

Anyone who has any information in relation to the incident should call police on 101 giving the reference 5735/09AUG.