A GRIEVING mum is calling for tougher punishment for knife crimes after her fiancé was brutally stabbed to death.

Victoria Billingham is calling for the sentences of knife crimes to be debated in parliament after her fiancé James Gibbons was killed on May 2 this year.

Father-of-four Mr Gibbons is understood to have been trying to help a homeless man when he was stabbed multiple times in the abdomen in Iris Mews, Laindon at around 9.30pm.

Ms Billingham along with her children and multiple members of Mr Gibbons’ family attended his funeral in Pilgrim’s Hatch on Friday.

In a statement issued online, with the hashtag “justiceforjames”, Ms Billingham said she would welcome any support people can give to the petition.

She said: “As I’m sure you all are aware my beautiful fiancé and father to our four children lost his life to knife crime a few weeks ago.

“Since then, we have been sharing and sharing a petition for tougher punishment with knife crime.

James Gibbons

James Gibbons

“We need 100,000 signatures on the petition for this to be discussed in parliament and only 14 days left to do so.

“Please, please if you haven’t already, sign and share and tag anyone you know in this post who may be able to put this out there.

“If we can raise this awareness it will mean a lot to us as a family and will be the start of many changes we can make in his amazing memory to stop this happening.

“Thank you so much everyone.”


Mr Gibbons had been hosting a barbecue with his family to celebrate his twin daughters’ second birthday before the fatal attack.

The petition has secured more than 18,600 signatures and calls for an increase in the sentences for carrying knives in the UK.

When tried at a crown court, the maximum sentence is four years in prison.

The funeral procession for James Gibbons, who was killed in Laindon on May 2

The funeral procession for James Gibbons, who was killed in Laindon on May 2

The government has responded to the petition saying that 57 per cent of offenders convicted of having a knife or offensive weapon received a prison sentence in 2019 compared to 34 per cent ten years earlier.

A spokesman said: “The government’s top priority is to keep people safe. We understand the devastating impact knife crime has on victims and their families and are determined to put a stop to violent offences that involve knives.

“It is essential that offenders serve sentences that reflect the severity of their crimes – helping to protect the public and giving victims confidence that justice has been served.”

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with Mr Gibbons’ murder.

View the petition at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/56319.

James Gibbons

James Gibbons