Boy, 15, is locked up for 15 years for murder of father-of-three, 45

Boy, 15, is locked up for 15 years for murder of father-of-three, 45, who was stabbed to death on his doorstep after confronting gang who verbally abused his daughter and plagued his street with anti-social behaviour

  • Boy murdered Jamie Markham after spending days shouting outside his home 
  • Mr Markham believed boy and friends had broken into shed at back of his flat 
  • Teenager goaded Mr Markham into coming outside before stabbing him 
  • Murderer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been jailed for 15 years  

A 15-year-old boy has been locked up for 15 years for murdering a father of three who was stabbed to death on his doorstep after confronting a gang who verbally abused his daughter.

The teenage killer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was ‘out of control’ when he murdered stonemason Jamie Markham, 45, after spending days shouting and swearing outside the victim’s home in Chingford.

He had been caught in school with a knife when he was 12 and Mr Markham believed the boy, then 14, and his friends had broken into the shed at the back of his flat in Old Church Road, where he kept his tools.

On August 9 last year the boy and four friends were setting off fireworks outside Mr Markham’s home, even though he had been banned from the area by the courts.

Mr Markham died in August last year after being stabbed in the back, armpit and chest for confronting the boy, who had already been banned from the area by a criminal behaviour order which he had flouted before

The teenager had goaded Mr Markham to come out and stop him, telling a passer-by: ‘He’s going to get it. Running his mouth, he’s a c***.’

Mr Markham snapped and came out of his shed at the back of his flat brandishing a large drill bit.

The stonemason, who was just 5ft 5′ tall and weighed only eight stone, was seen waving it above his head at the 5ft 11′ tall teenager, who then pulled out an 18′ knife.

He stabbed Mr Markham three times as they fought ‘like gladiators.’

Mr Markham was helped back to his flat by a neighbour but he collapsed and died.

Jamie Markham (centre), 45, was fatally stabbed in Chingford, east London. He is pictured with his wife Candice (right) and his 17-year-old daughter Chloe (left)

His killer was well known as a trouble-maker and had wrecked the local branch of Morrisons by hurling red wine and eggs down the aisles.

He was caught on video spitting in his mother’s face and breached a criminal behaviour order five times by being in the area where he killed Mr Markham.

He has appeared in court 12 times and been convicted for 22 different offences since June 2020, when he was 13.

His previous convictions include battery, criminal damage, using threatening, abusive words and behaviour, sending threatening messages and theft.

Prosecutors called it ‘a miserable history’.

Police pictured at the scene in Chingford following the incident last August 

The boy denied murder and having an article with a blade or point, claiming he acted in self-defence, but was convicted of both offences in July this year.

Today Judge John Hillen told him: ‘Jamie Markham was aged 45 and was a family man with three children. He was a hardworking stone mason with his own business who worked hard to support and bring up his family.

‘You were variously described by the prosecution as a teenaged troublemaker, not someone who was prepared to let anyone else tell you what to do and as being an obnoxious youth.

‘Those were harsh words to use with an adolescent with a brain that was not or is not fully matured or developed.

‘But given your history…and given what was to happen on 9th August last year one can well understand why you would be perceived as an obnoxious youth and teenaged troublemaker by the law-abiding adult population.’

He went on: ‘Your unhealthy interest in knives, antisocial behaviour and violence against those who challenged you all came together on Chingford Mount on August 9 last year.’ 

The judge said that the teenager took a knife to school, had a knife concealed in the headboard of his bed, had social media images of knives and made internet searches for buying knives.

‘You regularly went missing. You had a low attendance record at school. Your foster parents could not prevent your bad behaviour. You were out of control.

‘An unhealthy interest in knives, violence against those who challenged you, those things came together on Chingford Mount on 9 August last year.’

He added: ‘No sentence that I impose can bring Jamie Markham back to this life.

‘He was a son, a brother, an uncle who can never be replaced. His mother, his sister, his nieces have had their lives devastated by your crime.

A police tent at the scene after Mr Markham was fatally stabbed in Chingford, East London

‘His partner…and his three children have a life sentence of grief and sorrow.

‘You took his life. You have yours. But yours is now a life which will be subject to the sentence that I now pass.’

Judge Hillen sentenced him to detention at His Majesty’s Pleasure for life with a minimum term of 15 years.

Wearing a grey utility jacket, the teenager showed no emotion as he was sentenced while members of Mr Markham’s family wept silently in the well of the court.

The court heard statements from various members of Mr Markham’s family about how their loss has impacted them.

The victim’s mother, Anita Markham, addressed the killer directly: ‘On the 9 August 2021 you stabbed my son Jamie Markham three times.

‘You had nothing to say. Not even, ‘Sorry I didn’t mean it to happen.’

‘You couldn’t say it was an accident because you stabbed him three times.

‘[You] taking my son’s life has broken me.

‘I have not been able to sleep, waking up at half-past one, two am because Jamie is in my thoughts all the time.

‘Seeing him lying there knowing I couldn’t patch him up like when he was a kid, wanting so much to help him, bring him back to us.

‘You have taken part of me for your own selfish reasons. It is not only my family but Jamie’s friends, my friends, the community, they have all been affected by your wicked act of taking his life.

‘The first day of the trial was Jamie’s birthday. The wonderful day when he was born.

‘There is no future for my son, that has been taken away from him by a very wicked individual, yourself.’

Lisa Sawyer, Mr Markham’s sister, expressed disbelief.

‘I didn’t think things like this happened to normal people like us,’ she said.

Ms Sawyer’s daughter and Jamie Markham’s niece, Amber Markham, spoke in her statement about the jury’s guilty verdict.

‘I was so thankful to the jury as had they gone the other way I don’t know how me and my mum would have got my Nan through it.

‘In her eyes, there was only one right decision and thankfully the jury saw that too.’

The court heard Mr Markham and his family had become ‘increasingly exasperated’ by youths ‘making a nuisance of themselves’ near their home.

The stonemason returned from work at around 6pm on the night he died and went to smoke cannabis to relax in the car park behind the shops nearby.

An argument broke out between the father-of-three, the then 14-year-old, and one of his friends.

His daughter heard the row and when she looked over the balcony at the defendant and his friend, one of them called out, ‘What the f*** are you looking at?’

She heard the two youths continuing to ‘shout and swear’ and witness Stuart Cole saw them ‘goading’ Mr Markham and waiting for him to come out of the car park and onto the street.

Mr Cole was told by the killer: ‘It’s alright mate. He’s going to get it. Running his mouth, he’s a c***.’

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett, QC, earlier told the jury: ‘Provoked beyond endurance, there must have come a point when Jamie Markham wanted to chase this obnoxious youth away from the area where he and his family lived, and, no doubt, make sure that he did not come back.’

Mr Markham grabbed the drill bit from his shed and came out to confront the teenager.

The boy pulled out his weapon – described as ‘a really sharp kebab knife’.

Mr Cole yelled, ‘That’s enough,’ but saw the teenager stab Mr Markham under his left arm and in the neck.

A doctor later found a third wound to the left side of the older man’s back, which was the fatal blow.

The boy dropped his phone as he fled the scene and it led police straight to him because it was being paid for by his mother.

In his closing speech Mr Aylett told jurors: ‘He provoked trouble, and he provoked it knowing he had the bigger and better weapon.’

‘Mr Markham armed himself with something in an attempt to meet fire with fire.’

He said the boy had a history of a ‘lack of respect for either authority or his elders.’

Jurors were also shown a video of the boy spitting at his adoptive mother.

He was made the subject of a year-long Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) in January 2021, which banned him from being in Chingford Mount unless accompanied by an adult, but breached the order six times.

He was due to be sentenced for the breaches on 20 August but by then he had killed Mr Markham.

The boy did not give evidence but his lawyers claimed that stabbing Mr Markham was ‘proportionate’ and in self-defence.

Laurie-Anne Power, KC, defending, said her client has ‘started to turn a corner in his life’.

The court heard that he had, in his childhood, suffered ‘significant turmoil’.

‘In spite of the family home that he has lived in since he was two, with two supportive parents, he is still struggling with that feeling of neglect, rejection or loss,’ Ms Power said.

‘He is beginning, at least, to mature and to grow up.’

She added: ‘He takes full responsibility for his actions but maintains that there was no intention to kill Jamie Markham.’

The 15-year-old denied but was convicted of murder and having an article with a blade or point.

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