A dad celebrating his twin daughters’ second birthday was stabbed to death by a 16-year-old boy, a court heard today.
James Gibbons, 34, was giving barbecue food to homeless man Christopher French when he became involved in a row with a group of youths.
A jury heard how the dad-of-four chased the youngsters down an alleyway after they returned five to ten minutes later.
James, a kitchen fitter, died after being stabbed four times in the stomach.
The teenage boy allegedly later boasted about the killing on Snapchat, writing: “I just killed a man and I’ll do it again.”
When he learned James had died he is said to have added: “I know. I might as well go and kill everyone else I don’t like”.
Simon Taylor QC, prosecuting, told the court there is “no dispute” over the identity of the killer.
He added: “Mr Gibbons was aged 34 and he had been celebrating his twin daughters’ second birthday when the incident occurred.
“There’s no dispute that it was this defendant who inflicted those wounds. The issue is whether he was acting defensively or offensively and whether the force used was reasonable.”
The fatal stabbing happened on May 2 of this year, when James was celebrating his daughters’ birthdays with a barbecue at home in Laindon, Essex.
Prosecutors say it was around 9.30pm when Christopher visited the address.
“Mr French knew there was a party and he attended in the hope of being given some food, Mr Taylor QC said.
“Mr Gibbons did leave the family party and provided Mr French with some barbecue food.
“It was whilst they were chatting that a group of youths walked past.”
Prosecutors said one youth came over and pulled Christopher’s hooded top, while another tried to grab the plate of food.
At this point, James is said to have told them to “get lost” and allegedly threatened to “knock them out”.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard the youngsters left but came back five to ten minutes later with a much larger group.
Christopher claimed that after more shouting and confrontation James chased them down an alleyway.
The jury heard he then came back “flapping his arms” before lifting his top to reveal he had been stabbed.
He collapsed and was rushed to hospital but could not be saved.
Post-mortem tests showed the blade used to stab James was more than 15cm long and between 1.6cm and 2cm wide.
Mr Taylor QC said James had told his partner Victoria Billingham about the group.
He said: “He told her ‘there are a couple of 15-year-olds bullying Chris, taking advantage and taking his food’.
“He then said he was going to have another cig with Mr French and make sure he was okay.”
The lead up to the attack was recorded on CCTV but not the moment of the stabbing.
Prosecutors say there are conflicting statements from witnesses on the night of the killing.
One youth, who was 13 at the time, reported seeing James with a “metal pole in his hands”.
The defendant, who has no previous convictions, cannot be named due to his age.
When one friend asked him if it was true he’d stabbed James he allegedly responded: “I did… I don’t care I’m a psychopath”.
The trial, due to last three to four weeks, continues.