Boy convicted of murdering Chingford dad James Markham who was frustrated by anti-social behaviour
A 15-year-old boy has been convicted of murdering an east London father-of-three in Chingford.
The boy, who was just 14 at the time of the killing, stabbed dad James Markham, 45, three times in August last year 2021 following a fight outside the east London flat James lived in with his family. Police were called to Churchill Terrace after reports of a disturbance where they found James seriously injured.
Despite first aid from paramedics and members of the public, Mr Markham died at the scene. During the trial the court heard how Mr Markham, who worked as a stonemason, had returned home shortly before 6pm and was in an area at the back of the block of flats. A group of youths were also in the area and Mr Markham, frustrated with ongoing anti-social behaviour in the area, got involved in a verbal exchange with them.
A member of Mr Markham's family saw the dispute, but her view was restricted and she didn't realise who the teenagers were arguing with.
The court heard how Mr Markham had approached the group with a drill bit in an apparent attempt to scare them off.
But rather than leaving, one of the group advanced - armed with a knife - and the pair began swinging at each other. During the fight, Mr Markham was stabbed multiple times, in the back, armpit and chest.
The final injury proving fatal, as the knife pierced his lung.
A member of the public who had tried to intervene then came to the dad's aid as the teenager and the rest of the group fled the scene.
Meanwhile Mr Markham's terrified family also rushed down from their home to try to help him. Police were able to rapidly identify the teenager after he dropped his mobile phone while running away.He was arrested on suspicion of murder two days later, making no comment in police interviews.
The boy was also found guilty of possession of an offensive weapon. Sentencing is due to take place at the Old Bailey on Friday, 26 August.
'Loving family man'
Detective Inspector John Marriot, of the Met Police Specialist Crime unit, 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 witness, 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 in working to deliver justice to James's family. Our thoughts remain with them."
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