Two murders and attempted murder that shocked Essex in just four days

Earlier this month, Essex was hit by two murders and an attempted murder – all within just four days of each other.

These serious crimes happened between May 1 and May 4 and both Essex Police and the Metropolitan Police are currently investigating the incidents.

In addition to these, police have confirmed that a woman has died after being found unconscious in a house on Pentland Avenue in Chelmsford, Essex, on Friday (May 7), with a 67-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder. He has since been released under investigation.

From the murder of a man who tried to help another, to a woman who was killed after leaving hospital, these are the murders and attempted murder that shocked our county in just a matter of days.

James Gibbons

Police have named father-of-four James Gibbons as the victim in a fatal stabbing in Laindon
(Image: Essex Police)

James Gibbons, 34, was stabbed in Iris Mews, Laindon, at around 9.30pm on May 2.

Despite the best efforts of medics, he died at the scene.

A 16-year-old boy arrested shortly after the incident has now been charged with murder and appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on May 7.

A 13-year-old boy was arrested on May 6 on suspicion of murder and has since been released on bail until May 14.

Four other teenagers had also previously been arrested in connection with James’ murder.

A 15-year-old and a 16-year-old girl were arrested on suspicion of murder but have been told they face no further charges.

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with James’ murder and has been released on bail until May 25.

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A 13-year-old boy has been told he faces no further action in relation to the offence of murder but has been released on bail in connection with an assault offence.

Police have also said that they believe James was attempting to help another man before he was stabbed.

Anyone who witnessed the incident, has footage of what led to it or has information on the incident should submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the ‘Live Chat’ button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

You can also call police on 101 and cite incident 1292 of May 2.

Information can also be given to independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or https://crimestoppers-uk.org.

Colchester attempted murder

A man was rushed to hospital

Three men were arrested after a disturbance in Gantry Close in Colchester, Essex, in the early hours of Saturday, May 1.

Police attended shortly after 12.45am and found a man had been stabbed.

He suffered a number of injuries that required hospital treatment. They are not considered to be life-threatening.

As police enquiries continued, it became clear two other people, a man and a woman, had suffered minor injuries during the incident.

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A 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, GBH, possession of cannabis and criminal damage.

A 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of GBH.

A 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of GBH and possession of cannabis.

They have all been released on bail until May 27.

Maria Rawlings

Police have launched a full murder investigation
Police have launched a full murder investigation
(Image: Met Police)

The body of mum-of-two Maria Jane Rawlings, 45, from Chelmsford, Essex, was discovered in shrubbery near Little Heath in Romford on Tuesday (May 4).

She had last been seen at King George Hospital in Goodmayes on the evening of Monday, May 3.

Maria left the hospital and made her way on foot to Barley Lane in the direction of the A12.

A post-mortem examination at Walthamstow Mortuary took place on Wednesday (May 5) which gave a preliminary cause for Maria’s death as neck compression and possible blunt force head trauma.

The Met Police have subsequently launched a murder investigation into Maria’s death.

Officers are still investigating the incident and believe that someone may have approached her after she left the hospital.

There have been no arrests so far, although police have released a CCTV appeal in connection with Maria’s death.

Enquiries into the circumstances remain ongoing. It remains unclear what happened to Maria.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the incident room on 020 8345 3865; via 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD3551/4May.

Essex Live