EXCLUSIVE: Mother of seven who reported her knife-killing son to police says she has no regrets and would ‘do the same thing again’
A mother who reported her knife-killing son to police said she had no regrets — and would do the same thing again.
Donna Delbono, 42, made the decision to hand over her teenage son Joshua to police after discovering he stabbed 16-year-old Charley Bates in a pub car park in Radstock, Somerset, last July. He will serve 21 years in prison.
In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, mother-of-seven Donna described her actions as “the hardest choice a parent will ever have to make.”
Mrs Delbono, from Frome, Somerset, said: ‘I was brought up to know the difference between right and wrong and to always try to do the right thing in life, no matter how hard it is. Even though it was such a hard choice to make, I know I would do the same thing again.
“I couldn’t have lived with myself if I had chosen not to call the police. I am sorry that Charley Bates lost his life and my condolences go out to his family.’
Donna Delbono (pictured), 42, said she ‘couldn’t have lived with herself’ if she hadn’t reported her son Joshua after discovering he stabbed Charley Bates
Joshua Delbono (pictured) was given life with a minimum sentence of 21 years in Bristol Crown Court
Her son, now 19, a bricklayer, was sentenced to life in prison by Bristol Crown Court last week and was told to serve at least 21 years in prison after being found guilty following a two-week trial.
Ms. Delbono’s appeal to the police was played in court.
The jury heard her say, “My son killed someone. It was in Radstock before. He just got back and I found out. He’s in my house now, but I can’t let him go anywhere.’
Ms Delbono told The Mail on Sunday that she had come home from a night out with friends, and her daughter, Jade, said Joshua told her what had happened.
Charley Bates (pictured) was stabbed to death after a fistfight broke out between two groups of friends in a car park in Radstock, Somerset
Delbono (wearing a white Nike top) photographed in a supermarket shortly before the fatal stabbing took place last July
She said, “Jade said he stabbed this boy, who he had never met before, and then went to bed. I ran straight to his bedroom and turned on the light. Josh was asleep and I shook him awake, but when he came to he admitted everything. He said he was scared and didn’t know what to do. I told him there was only one thing he could do: turn himself in to the police.
“But he said he was too scared, so I said if he didn’t call them I would. He just nodded. So I grabbed my phone and dialed 999.
“My son will have to live with this for the rest of his life.”
The court heard what the dispute was like between Charley Bates and one of Delbono’s friends over money.
A fight broke out, before friends of both got involved. Delbono stabbed Mr. Bates in the chest, the court heard.
In handing down the verdict, Judge William Hart said, “Let me say to anyone who hears my remarks about the harm caused by carrying knives. What happened that day cast a terrible shadow over everyone.’