Teenage boy murdered father-of-three who complained about anti-social behaviour

·3-min read
Teenage boy murdered father-of-three who complained about anti-social behaviour

A 15-year-old boy who stabbed to death a father-of-three outside his own home in a row over anti-social behaviour is facing life in prison.

James Markham, 45, became “exasperated” with shouting and swearing at the back of his home in Chingford, east London, and went to confront the teenagers responsible.

The stonemason brandished a drill bit in a bid to scare them off, but in return the boy – then 14 – stabbed Mr Markham three times, including a fatal wound to his back.

Mr Markham was helped by an eyewitness and his family, but died at the scene shortly after the attack on August 9 last year, the Old Bailey heard.

Police were led to the killer as he accidentally dropped his phone during the stabbing, but the large knife used to murder Mr Markham has never been recovered.

On Friday at the end of a trial, the teenager was found guilty by a jury of murder and possession of an offensive weapon. He faces a life prison term when he is sentenced next month.

“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”, said Detective Inspector John Marriot, from the Met’s Specialist Crime unit.

“I hope this conviction will provide them with some small measure of comfort as they continue to grieve James.

Police at the scene in Churchill Terrace, Chingford, east London, where James Markham was stabbed to death after confronting a group of teenagers (Laura Parnaby/PA) (PA Wire)
Police at the scene in Churchill Terrace, Chingford, east London, where James Markham was stabbed to death after confronting a group of teenagers (Laura Parnaby/PA) (PA Wire)

"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.”

The stabbing happened at around 6pm, when Mr Markham was smoking in a car park close to his home in Chingford Mount.

The area had become a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, and the teenager had been banned under a Criminal Behaviour Order from entering the area.

At the time of the murder, he had already breached the order six times and was awaiting a court sentencing hearing for his behaviour.

An eyewitness, Stuart Cole, saw the teen and a friend “goading” Mr Markham, the court heard, and the father swung the drill bit he was holding in the air without making contact.

His daughter heard the commotion from their flat, but when she tried to see what was happening from the balcony one of the teenagers shouted: “What the f*** are you looking at?”

The killer then pulled out a knife, described as being 18 inches long, and stabbed Mr Markham in the chest, neck, and back.

Mr Cole heard the killer – moments before the stabbing – say: “It’s alright mate, he’s going to get it”.

The teenager denied murder, arguing he was acting in self-defence. He is due to be sentenced on August 26.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting