A SCHOOLBOY has been jailed for life after killing a father outside his children’s birthday party then boasting “I chilled him 25 times.”
The 16-year-old has now been named Joshuah Sparks when a Supreme Court judge dropped his identity over the horrific stabbing of James Gibbons.
Sparks stabbed James, 34 years old, four times in Laindon, Essex, while the father was celebrating the second birthday of his twin daughters.
He then fled the scene when the father was taken to the hospital in a state of horrific bleeding but tragically unable to do anything to save the father.
Today the ailing Sparks was sentenced to life in prison, and served a minimum of 13 years in prison for barbaric murder.
The court had previously heard the teen tell friends he had suffered a “crack in the head” with a pole and attacked him.
To another friend, he boasted that he had slashed Mr Gibson several times – saying “I get chills [slang for knifed] him 25 times”.
Simon Taylor QC told the jury.
The boy claimed it was in self-defense but was found guilty of murder after an earlier trial.
Although Sparks is entitled to automatic anonymity, Mr Justice Charles Bourne, of Chelmsford, ruled at his sentencing hearing on Friday that he could be named. Mr Gibbons was staying a few meters from his home in Iris Mews in Laindon, Essex, when he was slashed to death on May 2.
A jury earlier heard that the Sparks killer called his best friend, who was worried he was “acting strange.”
During a 43-minute call, the teen began to cry before saying “a man has been stabbed, I think he’s dead,” the court heard.
In another message to a friend, he claimed he had “bowed down” which prosecutors said was an automatic fix from f***ed up.
After the attack, in a group chat, a friend told him “stay low, low, low, don’t go anywhere and when you arrive, wear a coronavirus mask”.
He was then asked: “Have you taken the knife since you made it?” to which he replied with “OFC” – a shortened version of “of course”.
Within hours of killing Mr Gibbons, the accused went online to search for news of what had happened.
He also investigated the “consequences of accidentally stabbing someone”.
Mr Gibbons’ family described him as a “hero” when Sparks was convicted.
In their emotional statement, the grieving family said: “James does not like bullies, and he will always be the one to protect and watch over the vulnerable.
“We’re proud of him; he’s our hero.”
They added: “He, (his partner) Vicky and their children have both their futures to look forward to.” Unfortunately, this was taken away by them. “
More to follow…
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