James Gibbons, 34, had bought leftover food from his daughter's birthday party to give to the homeless man when he stepped in to intervene.
Trigger Warning: The story has details of death due to a stabbing that readers will find disturbing
A father in the UK was stabbed to death by unruly teens on his twin daughters' birthday. On Sunday evening, James Gibbons, 34, took some leftover food from the party to a homeless man near his house in Laindon, Essex. The man was being harassed by the teens and Gibbons decided to step in and intervene. In the process, he was tragically killed by the delinquents, two of whom are girls aged between 13 and 16 years. The paramedics were called and life-saving efforts were administered, but it was all in vain. Gibbons died at the scene of the crime. A total of five people including three males were involved in the killing. They were arrested on suspicion of murder according to The Sun. Three were later released. The father-of-four was lovingly called "Gibbo" by family members who are "absolutely broken beyond belief” after his death.
The family of a man who died after being stabbed in #Laindon have paid to tribute to him as 'an amazing dad'.— Essex Police (@EssexPoliceUK) May 5, 2021
We are investigating the murder of James Gibbons.
We have arrested five teenagers on suspicion of murder.https://t.co/y5eCvMmKil
The family issued a statement following his untimely death. They said: "James was an amazing father of four young children, engaged to his partner of 11 years, and was a loving and supportive son and brother. James was a hard-working family-orientated man, who ran his own bathroom fitting company and was looking forward to a positive future for him and his family...James was the kind of person who would always be prepared to help anyone less fortunate than himself, which is what he was doing on Sunday night." His death "has had a devastating effect on us all," they added. The family now wants justice for the mindless killing.
KILLED FOR HIS KINDNESS— Emma James (@emmajames3) May 6, 2021
A DAD stabbed to death by a teenage gang had been hosting a barbecue for his twins second birthday.
Kind James Gibbons was attacked as he offered leftovers to a man the youths were picking on.
Absolutely heartbreaking story. https://t.co/mFMkY7kJL7 pic.twitter.com/EHm6mcWIg9
"As a family we are urging anyone to come forward with any information that may help the police as they investigate James’s death in the hope we can get justice," they said. "James was having a barbecue. It was his twins’ birthday a week or so ago. He had seen a man who was living on the streets earlier in the day," a family friend told the publication. "He decided to take him some food, which is so kind of him and shows what kind of guy he was. This group of teenagers were attacking the man on the street and when James saw him he bravely stepped in. He was then stabbed by the kids who had been attacking the other man. The family are devastated, James was incredible and their kids have lost their dad," he added.
This is such a tragedy. BRING BACK DEATH PENALTY— wonderwoo777 (@wonderwoo777) May 5, 2021
There is an ongoing investigation into Gibbons' killing. Steve Jennings, Detective Chief Superintendent of Essex Police, said, "A family has been broken apart, and we need to get to the bottom of what happened." He added the teens were not known to the victim and appealed for help from the public. Locals reported that the teens had been terrorizing the neighborhood and hurling abuses. Gibbons was trying to chase them away from the homeless man but was stabbed by one of them who was carrying a knife. A neighbor said, "There was a gang of kids seen drinking around the estate all day making a nuisance of themselves." Another resident added: "The kids started a fight (with the homeless man) then the second man, who was stabbed, tried to calm it all down."
Dad stabbed to death by schoolkids after helping neighbour confronted by gang https://t.co/MxEz75ThEh— The Sun (@TheSun_NI) May 5, 2021
Michaela Hales, 38, another resident said her family was trying to move out of the area following the incident. "I can’t believe how young the kids are. We are thinking of moving out and renting privately now. You don’t want this on your doorstep. I can’t live here now. The kids are 13 and 14 years old. It is just shocking. My children are too young to go out on their own but I wouldn’t want them going out now. Kids are hanging about a lot but you don’t think too much of it until something like this happens."