UK father-of-4 fatally stabbed by group of teenagers while offering food to homeless man

James Gibbons.
James Gibbons. Photo credit: Essex Police

A "loving and supportive" UK father-of-four has been fatally stabbed after offering a homeless man leftover food from his twin daughters' birthday party.

James Gibbons, 34, from the English county of Essex, went to offer food to the man at about 9:30pm on Sunday (local time) when he was attacked by a group of teenagers. Emergency services were called to Iris Mews in Laindon, but Gibbons died at the scene.

Essex Police have arrested five teenagers aged between 13 and 16 on suspicion of murder. Two teens have been released on bail until May 28 and one until May 25.

Police released a statement on behalf of the family, who said Gibbons was a "hard-working, family-orientated" man.

"James was an amazing father of four young children, engaged to his partner of 11 years, and was a loving and supportive son and brother," they said.

"This tragedy occurred after he had spent the day celebrating his two-year-old twin girls' birthday at home and we are absolutely broken beyond belief at this pointless loss which has had a devastating effect on us all."

The teens had been terrorising the neighbourhood on scooters and shouting abuse, The Sun reports. It's believed Gibbons was stabbed after he attempted to chase them off.

He died metres away from the home he shared with fiancee Victoria Billingham and their four children.

His death is another horrific blow for his mother, Wendy, who lost another son to an epileptic fit in 2015.