Clacton murderer Darren Gilbert given life sentence for killing James Gregoire

Darren Gilbert, who has admitted murdering James Gregoire in Clacton in April 2015.

Darren Gilbert, who has admitted murdering James Gregoire in Clacton in April 2015. - Credit: Archant

A man who admitted killed his ex-girlfriend’s father in Clacton town centre will serve at least 20 years behind bars.

Essex Police cordon off the covered market in Clacton town centre after murder of James Gregoire.

Essex Police cordon off the covered market in Clacton town centre after murder of James Gregoire. - Credit: Su Anderson

Darren Gilbert, 22, stabbed James Gregoire in a two-knife attack following an altercation which spread across a number of streets late on April 13.

Gilbert, of Holland Road, Clacton, admitted murder during a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court in late June.

Yesterday, back at the court, Judge Christopher Ball QC sentenced Gilbert to life in jail, and ordered him to serve a minimum of 20 years.

Gilbert broke into a flat near the town’s High Street where his ex-girlfriend Jasmine Gregoire, Mr Gregoire’s daughter, and a group of friends were, brandishing a knife in each hand.

Essex Police forensics examine an area in Clacton town centre after James Gregoire was murdered.

Essex Police forensics examine an area in Clacton town centre after James Gregoire was murdered. - Credit: Su Anderson

After an altercation at the flat Gilbert left with 54-year-old Mr Gregoire and killed him by standing alongside him and using a slashing motion across the victim’s neck before attacking him, a court heard at an earlier hearing.


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Gilbert evaded capture until 11.40am the following morning, when he was found following an extensive manhunt.

Much of Clacton town centre was cordoned off by police the day after the murder as forensic teams examined multiple crime scenes.

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Detective Chief Inspector Morgan Cronin, senior investigating officer, said: “Darren Gilbert is a dangerous man who will now have a long time behind bars to think about his actions.

“The local community will be safer for his incarceration.”

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