MORE than £10,000 has been raised in less than 24 hours for a dad-of-four stabbed to death after stepping in to help a “homeless man being attacked”.

The community has banded together to launch a fundraiser for the family of James Gibbons, who was stabbed to death in Iris Mews, Laindon, on Sunday.

Yesterday, forensic teams were spotted searching drains in a bid to find the murder weapon.

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with murder and is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court today.

According to a family friend, the 34-year-old had come to the aid of a homeless man who was being attacked by a group before he was murdered.

Speaking to The Sun, the family friend 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. 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 and when James saw him he bravely stepped in.

“He was then stabbed by the group who had been attacking the other man. The family are devastated.”

James Gibbons

James Gibbons

The fundraiser was set up on Wednesday night by Louise Lindfield, another family friend, and within an hour, it had raised £1,000.

Before the Echo went to print yesterday, the fundraiser had exceeded £10,000.

This morning, it has raised more than £16,000.

Ms Lindfield, 33, said: “I and a few other mums wanted to do a go fund me page when we heard, but wanted to wait until police released James’s name.

“James was such a lovely man and daddy. The family definitely didn’t deserve this.

“We just wanted to somehow show how much we love Vicky [Mr Gibbons’ fiancée] and the children, and we know money can’t fix anything but we just hope it shows we are there.

“So we set up the go fund me page on Wednesday night and within ten hours we had £3,000.

“It’s amazing and shows how much everyone is behind them and loves them.”

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