Five teenagers arrested after stabbing death of man in Essex

Five teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a man was stabbed to death on the day he celebrated his twin daughters’ birthday.

James Gibbons, 34, a father of four, was stabbed outside his home in Laindon, Essex, shortly after 9.30pm on Sunday. He is believed to to have gone to help another man then died after a confrontation with a group of young people, according to police.

In a statement released through Essex police, Gibbons’ family 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.

“This tragedy occurred after he had spent the day celebrating his two-year-old twin girls’ birthday at home and we are absolutely broken beyond belief at this pointless loss which has had a devastating effect on us all.

“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.

“As a family we are urging anyone to come forward with any information that may help the police as they investigate James’ death in the hope we can get justice.”

Four suspects, described by police as teenagers, were arrested shortly after Gibbons was killed, with a fifth arrested on Monday night. Two have since been bailed until later this month.

Police are appealing for witnesses. DCS Steve Jennings, of Kent and Essex serious crime directorate, said inquiries had led police to believe that Gibbons was “going to the aid of another man and, as a result, he lost his life during an altercation which ensued with a group of young people not directly known to him”.

“It is a tragic loss of life and we are continuing to appeal for the public’s help,” Jennings said.

“We are really keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and may have seen or heard anything happen in Iris Mews shortly before 9.30pm on Sunday.

“We are also keen to hear from anyone who has seen any discarded weapons in the area.”

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