Joshua Delbono, 19, gets life sentence for stabbing Somerset teen - after he was turned into police by his mum

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Joshua Delbono was found “unanimously guilty” at Bristol Crown Court for the murder of Charley Bates in Radstock, Somerset.

A man has been given a life sentence after he was convicted of the murder of a fellow teen last summer. The 19-year-old was turned into the authorities by his own mother as her chilling 999 call has been revealed.

Joshua Delbono, who appeared at Bristol Crown Court on April 11, was found to have killed Charly Bates in Radstock, Somerset on July 31, 2022. He has been sentenced to 21 years in prison.

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The victim was stabbed several times after he approached two vehicles, one containing Mr Delbono, at a public car park and found himself embroiled in a heated confrontation. A pathologist revealed that Charly was stabbed in the chest and arm in an incident which lasted less than five minutes, but emergency services that attended the scene were unable to save him, as he was pronounced dead just a half-hour later.

After the 19-year-old fled the scene, burned his clothes and got rid of the murder weapon, he returned home where his mother would find out what had happened. Six hours later the next morning, the mum reported him to Avon and Somerset Police.

In the chilling 999 call, Joshua’s mother said: “My son has killed someone at Radstock earlier, he’s just come back and I have found out. He is in my house now but I can’t let him go anywhere, I have told him I have got to do it.”

She then passed the phone over to her son, who admitted to killing Charly and claimed he was trying to protect others. He alleged he had thrown the knife away and that it could maybe have made its way under a car, but later conceded at trial that he disposed of it into Shearwater Lake.

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Avon and Somerset Police DCI Mark Almond said in a statement: “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.

Joshua Delbono was found “unanimously guilty” at Bristol Crown Court on April 11 - Credit: Avon and Somerset PoliceJoshua Delbono was found “unanimously guilty” at Bristol Crown Court on April 11 - Credit: Avon and Somerset Police
Joshua Delbono was found “unanimously guilty” at Bristol Crown Court on April 11 - Credit: Avon and Somerset Police | Avon and Somerset Police

“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.”

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