Joshua Delbono: Teen sentenced to life after mum rang 999 and told police ‘he killed someone’
Joshua Delbono fatally stabbed 16-year-old Charley Bates in July last year
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Joshua Delbono, 19, was found unanimously guilty by a jury at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday (11 April) of killing Charley Bates in July last year, and must serve a minimum of 21 years behind bars.
Charley was stabbed by Delbona multiple times in a car park, off The Street, in the centre of Radstock on 31 July following a confrontation, in an attack which left him with a stab wound to his arm and chest. Emergency services were called but the teenager was sadly pronounced dead about 30 minutes later.
Delbono fled the scene and headed to Shearwater Lake where he burned the clothes he had been wearing - footage of which police later discovered on a mobile phone.
But the 19-year-old was reported to police after his mum courageously phoned 999 the following morning and told officers her son “had killed someone” and she was keeping him at the address.
She told the call-handler she felt “sick” by what had happened. She said: “My son’s killed someone. It was at Radstock earlier. He’s just come back and I’ve found out. He’s in my house now but I can’t let him go anywhere.”
Asked if her son was aware she was calling the police, she said: “Yeah, he’s here. I’ve told him I’ve got to do it.” She then passed the phone to Delbono who admitted to stabbing Charley, claiming he was trying to protect others.
The teenager, from Frome, went on to falsely claim he had “launched” the knife away at the scene and suggested it may have ended up under a car, before later conceding during the trial he had thrown it into Shearwater Lake. He was arrested on suspicion of murder a short time later.
DCI Mark Almond said: “Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Charley’s family who have experienced unimaginable pain over the past nine months. They continue to grieve for Charley and we are offering them support through our specially-trained officers.
“Charley had his whole life ahead of him and it was cut short by Joshua Delbono. The vigil held in his memory in Radstock in the days after this senseless tragedy highlights how his death affected the community and how popular a person he was.
“Such incidents are thankfully rare in Radstock, but the devastating consequences knife crime has on families and communities is clear for all to see and it is why we are committed to work with our partners to do all that we can to prevent more tragedies like this from happening.”