‘Out of control’ boy, 15, jailed for life for fatally stabbing dad-of-three outside home

A 15-year-old boy was jailed for life on Friday after he fatally stabbed a father-of-three in East London.

Jamie Markham, 45, was stabbed three times by the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, including in the neck.

The incident happened on August 9 last year after Mr Markham, from Chingford, went outside his flat in Chingford Mount to confront the boy and four of his friends who were ‘armed with metal poles and sticks’.

The “obnoxious teenage trouble maker” was 14 at the time of of killing and allegedly told a witness that “he’s going to get it” before a fight happened.

An 18-inch kebab knife was used to stab the victim.

Emergency services were called to Churchill Terrace at 6.20pm but Mr Markham was pronounced dead at the scene.

Judge John Hillen ordered that the boy, who had already breached an antisocial behaviour order (Asbo) six times, be detained for life with a minimum term of 15 years.

He described Mr Markham as “a hard-working stonemason with his own business who worked hard to support and bring up his family”.

By contrast, the defendant’s behaviour leading up to the murder was increasingly worrying.

The judge told the teenager: “You had not responded to attempts to divert you away from crime and antisocial behaviour.

“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.”

Mr Markham was “goaded” for months by a group of “nuisance” youths leading up to his death.

The court heard how the victim and his family had lived for many years in a flat above shops.

Months before his murder he, his wife and three children became “increasingly exasperated” by a group of youths who were being loud and swearing behind the flats.

Mr Markham had returned home from his work as a stonemason and at 6pm began smoking cannabis in the car park behind the shops.

The jury heard that an argument then broke out between the group and the father, which was overheard by the latter’s daughter as she arrived home.

Jurors were told that the youths were armed most likely with metal poles and sticks – believed to have come from a nearby broken clothes rack.

Mr Markham’s daughter, who was unware that her father was involved in encounter, leaned over the flat’s balcony and one of the youths reportedly shouted: “What the f*** are you looking at?”.

Stuart Cole, a witness, was walking towards the car park entrance when he saw two youths “goading” the victim and waiting for him to come out onto the street.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said: “Provoked beyond endurance, there must have come a point when Mr 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.

“It is also the case that the defendant was armed with a pole or a stick.

“So when Mr Markham did come out, he was armed with a large drill bit that he kept in his shed at the back of the block of the flat.”

The jury were told that Mr Markham ran at the defendant, who did not run away but backed away while maintaining sight of the victim and “never turning his back on him”.

Mr Aylett said: “Despite swinging the drill bit at the defendant a number of times, Mr Markham does not appear ever to have actually hit the defendant with it.

“This…is consistent with him simply wanting to scare him away.”

The defendant pulled out a knife from his clothing, the jury heard, which was likened to a “really sharp kebab knife” and approximately 18-inches long.

The prosecutor added: “Mr Cole has described how the defendant then ‘stepped into’ the victim and stabbed him underneath his left arm.

“Although the pair of them carried on swinging at one another, Mr Cole noticed Mr Markham was starting to lose his strength.

“Then Mr Cole saw the defendant lift the knife higher and stab Mr Markham in the neck.”

The jury was told that Mr Cole shouted “That’s enough” to the teenager, before he ran away from the scene.

A doctor who attended the incident identified three separate stab wounds, including to the left armpit the neck.

The wound to the left-hand side of the back was fatal.

The defendant received a cut to his left hand and after being arrested made no comment to the questions asked by custody officers.

A witness, who saw the teenager arguing with Mr Markham minutes before his death, later picked him out of an identify parade.

Mr Aylett said the defendant now accepted that he was the one who stabbed the father.

He added: “He claims to have been acting in self-defence.

“It suffices to say that the prosecution allege that it was the defendant who started all of this by provoking Mr Markham – who only armed himself in response to the fact that the defendant was armed, at this point, with some sort of stick.

“As I have said, while Mr Markham used the drill bit to swing at the defendant’s head a number of times, he appears to have done so without ever striking him.

“On the other hand, the defendant stabbed Mr Markham no less than three times, and the prosecution suggest that he did so intending either to kill Mr Markham or else cause him at least serious injury.

“If that is right, then the defendant is guilty of murder.”