Convicted killer James Gubb was yesterday (Monday) beginning a life sentence for the murder of footballer's son Tony Mahoney.

But Mr Justice Scott Baker took the unusual step of not revealing in open court his recommendations on exactly how long Gubb will serve.

Instead he will make a statement in writing in a few weeks' time, leaving an anxious wait for both the victim's and defendant's families.

A jury last month took just over four hours to find Gubb, 19, of Greenview, Canvey, guilty of murdering Tony, 18, of Portsea Road, Tilbury, on September 26 at Canvey's Kings Holiday Park.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how the pair had come to blows earlier that night when Tony kicked Gubb in the face, breaking his nose.

Moments later Gubb, armed with a knife, went to look for Tony - son of former Fulham footballer Tony Mahoney - and stabbed him three times in a vicious revenge attack.

Surgeons at Southend Hospital battled to save the victim's life but could not restart his heart when it stopped.

At the sentencing Joanna Greenberg, defending, said Gubb had enjoyed a normal childhood and there was nothing in his past to indicate he would become a murderer.

She added: "He came across as a well-mannered and quietly-spoken young man when he gave his evidence, a manner he has presented throughout.

"At this stage he maintains his innocence. He's a young man who will lose some of the best years of his life now."

Miss Greenberg asked the judge to take into account the fact that Gubb was provoked by the victim's actions on the night of the killing.

She said: "It is quite clear on the evidence there had been an extremely provocative act by Mr Mahoney.

"The deceased had a predisposition to fighting and did have a predisposition that night."

Mr Justice Scott Baker spoke to Gubb, who appeared in casual clothes and sporting a new shorter haircut, only to order his mandatory life sentence.

Killer - James Gubb

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