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James Markham murder: Boy, 15, jailed for life after brutally stabbing and killing father-of-three

Judge John Hillen sentenced the boy to be detained for life with a minimum term of 15 years on Friday, October 6
(Representative Image/RUNSTUDIO/Getty Images)
(Representative Image/RUNSTUDIO/Getty Images)

LONDON, UK: A boy, 15, has been found guilty and given life detention for murdering Jamie Markham, a father-of-three outside his east London residence. The defendant, who was 14 then, and subject to repeated anti-social behavior stabbed Markham three times with a knife and killed him on August 9, 2021, at Chingford, east London. However, the boy, who couldn’t be named due to legal reasons claims he acted in self-defense but the court found otherwise.

He is held guilty of murder and carrying an offensive weapon during a trial at the Old Bailey in July. Judge John Hillen sentenced the boy to be detained for life with a minimum term of 15 years on Friday, October 6. The judge found the victim, Markham, as a "hard-working stonemason with his own business who worked hard to support and bring up his family," reported Independent. The judge told the boy, "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."


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"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," he added. 

While addressing the defendant, Anita Markham, the victim’s mother opened up about how the family had to deal with the "wicked" murder, "On August 9 2021 you stabbed my son Jamie Markham three times and murdered him." “You had nothing to say, not even ‘sorry, I did not mean it to happen'. You could not say it was an accident as you stabbed him three times. Taking my son’s life has broken me. Jamie is in my thoughts all the time, seeing him lying there knowing I could not patch him up like when he was a kid. Wanting so much to help him, bring him back to us. You can never replace a child,” she added.

Crispin Aylett KC had previously informed jurors that the defendant with his group of friends made a nuisance of themselves in the area behind shops near Markham lived with his family repeatedly. "Increasingly exasperated" by their behavior Markham tried to straighten the boys, but two youths allegedly goaded the victim before the defendant told a witness: “It’s alright mate. He’s going to get it.” Aylett claimed, “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.”

The 45-year-old stonemason then with a drill bit from his shred ran toward the boy, swinging the machinery to scare him off, as told to the jurors. However, the boy then flashed his 18-inch long blade and stabbed Markham in the armpit, neck, and back before fleeing the scene. 

The victim was taken back to his flat with some help where he died soon. The police found the defendant's mobile at the crime scene while fighting Markham, and used it as evidence while tracking him down. 

According to Aylett, the boy has a “miserable” criminal record for having been in court 12 times and being convicted of 22 different offences. The first occurred in June 2020 when, at the age of 13, he admitted to battery and was found guilty of cannabis possession for which was given a rehabilitation order.