Today’s verdict: A 16-year old boy was found guilty for murdering a Good Samaritan father while attending his twin daughters second birthday party.

After James Gibbons, 34 was stopped by a gang of teens harassing an elderly man, the father-of-4 intervened to stop them.

The boy plunged a 6-inch knife into Mr Gibbons four more times, leaving him to die only yards from where the kitchen fitting had spent the afternoon with his family.

After a four-week trial at Chelmsford Crown court, the boy denied one count of murder, but was found guilty by a majority verdict.

The jury of seven women (and five men) returned their verdicts after 14 hours of deliberation.

James Gibbons (pictured), 34, was stabbed after rushing to the aid of a homeless man outside his house in Laindon, Essex, just moments after he had kindly given the man a plate of food

James Gibbons (pictured), 34 was stabbed as he ran to help a homeless man outside his Laindon, Essex home. This happened just minutes after Gibbons had generously given the man a plate.

Six months after the incident, Mr Gibbons’ family gasped and wept openly today when the jury verdict was read out by the foreman. It was around 10 o’clock on May 2, 2012.

The stabbing took place moments after Mr Gibbons was involved with friends of the defendant within yards of his home.

Simon Taylor QC, the prosecution, said that Mr Gibbons was only yards away from his home in Iris Mews (Laindon) when the defendant stabbed and killed him four times.

Victoria Billingham, Mr Gibbons’s girlfriend, said that she remembers him leaving their twin daughters’ birthday barbecue to speak with a homeless man called Christopher French outside.

“When he returned, he told her that there were two 15-year-olds who were bullying Chris, taking advantage of him, and eating his food,” said Mr Taylor.

“He then said that he was going to have another smoke outside with Mr French just to make sure he was OK.

Later, she heard a ‘loud sound at the door’ and was told to call an ambulance.

At the opening of the case, the jury was told that there was no dispute that Mr Gibbons had been stabbed four times in his stomach by the teenager.

The father (pictured with his family) was stabbed by the 16-year-old earlier this year on May 2

The father (pictured with his family), was stabbed earlier this year by the 16-year old on May 2nd.

It was important to determine if these actions were in self defense.

Although the stabbing took place in an alleyway next to Mr Gibbons’s home, it was not captured on CCTV.

The court heard that Mr Gibbons had provided food to Mr French, a homeless man, in the moments preceding the murder. He was at his house when Mr French arrived.

They were talking when a group youths walked by and one pulled Mr French’s hooded shirt while another tried to take the food away.

According to legend, Mr Gibbons told the youths that they “should get lost” or he would “knock them out”.

Two young men left the scene, but returned five to ten seconds later. There was a larger group of youths, mostly between 12 and 13, and two older, between 17 and 19.

After much more shouting and confrontation, Mr French said that he saw Mr Gibbons chase young people down an alleyway.

The jury heard that Mr Gibbons returned to the scene ‘flapping his arms’, before revealing that he had been stabbed and then fell backwards.

Police launched a murder investigation after Mr Gibbons died in Laindon, Essex, in May

After Mr Gibbons, a man from Essex, died in Laindon in May, police began a murder investigation

Pathologists determined that the blade used to stab Mr Gibbons was approximately six inches in length based on post mortem findings.

The weapon used in the murder of Mr Gibbons was never found.

The teen called his girlfriend hours after the brutal killing and he told her that he thought he was dead.

In another messaged to a pal he declared he had ‘ducked up’ – which was auto-corrected from ‘f***ed up’.

A friend told him in a group chat that he should’stay low’, ‘low, ‘low’, and not to go anywhere yet. When you do, make sure to have a coronavirus mask.

Then he was asked if he had the knife from when he did it. He responded with ‘OFC,’ which is a shorter version of ‘ofcourse’.

The teen searched the internet in the hours following the murder to find out more. He also researched the “consequences” of accidentally stabbing another person.

He laughed and boasted to another friend that he had repeatedly knifed Mr Gibson – saying, “I chinged!” [slang for knifed] him 25 times.’

Mr Taylor told the jury: ‘He was laughing when he said it.’

Mr French, a homeless man being fed by Mr Gibbons was confronted in his home by a gang consisting of children. One of them “lobbed” a brick at him in the head.

He claimed he didn’t witness the moment Mr Gibbons was stabbed.

Mr French described earlier how he was served hot barbecue food outside Mr Gibbons’s house and then chatted with him and his friends.

The defendant was placed in custody while a report on his pre-sentence is prepared.

He will be sentenced at a time to be determined in three weeks.