A MURDER victim punched and hit a teenager with a metal pole in a dark alleyway before being stabbed to death, a court heard.

Dad James Gibbons, 34, died after being stabbed near his home in Iris Mews, Laindon on May 2.

A 16-year-old boy is standing trial accused of murdering him by stabbing him four times in the abdomen.

Yesterday Chelmsford Crown Court heard evidence from a teenage victim who claimed Mr Gibbons attacked the teenager after a row with other youths.

Echo: Loved and missed - James GibbonsLoved and missed - James Gibbons

The court previously heard Mr Gibbons had stepped in to help a homeless man being confronted by a group of youths.

A video of an interview with a teenage witness was played to the court.

During it he said: “Another boy and I were walking through an alleyway when the man, James Gibbons, was getting in our faces and I told him to leave us alone and that I would go and get my sister as he wasn’t listening.


“I went to talk to a homeless man Chris French and James was sitting with him. James said Chris didn’t want to talk to me.

“He was aggressive and was drunk. A boy came out of no where and I don’t want to say his name.

“Then James and the boy went into an alleyway and he hit the boy, he punched him in the side of the head and it was hard. The boy then hit him back and James hit him with a pole.

“It was a side hit and he had two hands on it and the boy’s head hit the railings and I heard the loud bang and it echoed.”


The teenage boy then then told police that the boy made a stabbing motion with his hands but he did not see a knife.

During the interview he said Mr Gibbons fell to the ground a few times and was holding his chest.

The teenager said he didn’t know what had happened and he ran away and was scared but then returned.

Mr Gibbons had been celebrating his daughter’s birthdays on the day.

The trial continues.