Good Samaritan fiancée stabbed to death calls for tougher sentences for knife crime

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Good Samaritan fiance stabbed to death ‘after evicting gang who harassed homeless man’ calls for tougher sentences for knife-wielding boy, 16, charged with murder

  • Victoria Billingham calls for debate on knife crime convictions in parliament
  • Her fiancé James Gibbons, 34, was stabbed to death last month in Laindon, Essex
  • The father of four would bring food to a ‘less fortunate’ man at the time

The fiancée of a Good Samaritan who was stabbed to death after helping a homeless man has called for tougher sentences for knife crime.

Victoria Billingham is calling for the verdicts to be debated in parliament after James Gibbons, 34, was murdered last month in Laindon, Essex.

The father of four reportedly helped a “less fortunate” man around 9:30 p.m. when he was fatally stabbed in the abdomen several times.

He died outside their childhood home after spending the day celebrating his two-year-old girls’ birthday.

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with murder and is expected to stand trial in October.

Now his family is calling for tougher sentences for knife offenses just days after the beloved plumber – known as Gibbo – was buried Friday.

Ms Billingham says the petition “will be the start of many changes we can make to his amazing memory.”

Victoria Billingham calls for tougher sentences for knife crime in parliament after fiancé James Gibbons, 34, was stabbed to death in Laindon, Essex last month

Victoria Billingham calls for tougher sentences for knife crime in parliament after fiancé James Gibbons, 34, was stabbed to death in Laindon, Essex last month

In an online statement, along with the hashtag ‘justiceforjames’, Ms Billingham said: ‘As you are sure, my beautiful fiancé and father of our four children was killed by knife crime a few weeks ago.

“Since then, we’ve been sharing and sharing a petition for tougher sentences for knife crime.

“We need 100,000 signatures on the petition to discuss this in Parliament and we only have 14 days left to do so.

Please, please, if you haven’t already, please sign and share and tag everyone you know in this post who might be able to post this.

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

“Thank you so much everyone.”

The petition has garnered more than 25,000 signatures and calls for the UK’s knife-bearing penalties to be increased.

When tried before a Crown Court, the maximum penalty is four years in prison.

It also wants the minimum sentences for non-fatal stabbings to be increased to 14 years in attempted murder cases.

The father of four reportedly helped a “less fortunate” man around 9:30 p.m. when he was fatally stabbed in the abdomen several times.

Mr Gibbons died outside their family home after spending the day celebrating his two-year-old girls' birthday (police pictured at the scene)

Mr Gibbons died outside their family home after spending the day celebrating his two-year-old girls' birthday (police pictured at the scene)

Mr Gibbons died outside their family home after spending the day celebrating his two-year-old girls’ birthday (police pictured at the scene)

The government has responded to the petition, saying that 57 percent of offenders convicted of having a knife or assault weapon were jailed in 2019, compared to 34 percent a decade earlier.

A spokesman said: “The government’s top priority is to protect people. We understand the devastating impact knife crime has on victims and their families and are committed to ending violent crimes involving knives.

“It is essential that offenders serve sentences commensurate with the gravity of their crimes – to protect the public and give victims the confidence that justice has been done.”

In the wake of the May 2 stabbing, his devastated family said: ‘James was a wonderful father of four young children, engaged to his partner of 11, and was a loving and supportive son and brother.

“James was a hard-working, family-oriented man who ran his own bathroom fitting business and looked forward to a bright future for him and his family.

This tragedy happened after he spent all day celebrating the birthday of his two year old twin girl at home and we are absolutely beyond imagination broken by this senseless loss which has had a devastating effect on all of us.

“James was the kind of person who would always be willing to help someone less fortunate than himself, and that’s what he did Sunday night.

“As a family, we are urging everyone to provide information that can help police investigate James’ death in the hopes of getting justice.”

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