Boy, 15, detained for life for fatally stabbing father-of-three Jamie Markham in Chingford

7 October 2022, 15:38 | Updated: 7 October 2022, 17:10

James Markham, 45, was fatally stabbed after confronting a group of teenagers at the back of his home in Chingford, east London.
James Markham, 45, was fatally stabbed after confronting a group of teenagers at the back of his home in Chingford, east London. Picture: Met Police

By Cameron Kerr

A 15-year-old boy has been detained for life with a minimum term of 15 years for fatally stabbing father-of-three Jamie Markham, who confronted a group of youths shouting and swearing outside his home in Chingford in London.

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Mr Markham, 45, was attacked after confronting a group of teenagers at the back of his home in Chingford, east London, when "exasperated" with shouting and swearing.

The gang had verbally abused his daughter and her friend.

The stonemason tried to scare them off by brandishing a drill bit, but in return the then 14-year-old boy stabbed Mr Markham three times.

An eyewitness and Mr Markham's family attempted to help him, but he died at the scene, shortly after the attack on August 9 2021.

At a hearing on Friday 7 October, Judge John Hillen sentenced the teenage killer to detention for life, with the requirement he serve at least 15 years behind bars before being considered for release:

“You had not responded to attempts to divert you away from crime and antisocial behaviour”, the judge told the boy.

“You regularly went missing. You have a low attendance record at school. Your foster parents could not prevent your behaviour.

“You were out of control.”

In contrast, he said Mr Markham was “a hard-working stonemason with his own business who worked hard to support and bring up his family”.

Police identified the killer after he accidentally dropped his phone during the stabbing, but the murder weapon - a large knife - has never been recovered.

"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.

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

Stuart Cole, an eyewitness, 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.

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 had denied murder, arguing he was acting in self-defence, but a jury convicted him after a trial which concluded in July.

He will serve at least 15 years in youth detention and then prison, before being considered for release.