Chilling footage shows killer heading off to camping trip after stabbing dad to death

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Alexander Layton was in the driver’s seat of his car when he was attacked, in full view of his four-year-old, sitting in a booster seat in the rear of the car in Thornaby, Teesside

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Alexander Layton captured on CCTV after ‘horrifying’ murder of James Stokoe

A calm-seeming killer set off on a camping trip moment after stabbing a dad to death in front of his son.

Alexander Layton was caught on film wandering away from James Stokoe’s BMW on May 15, 2020 in Thornaby, Teesside.

He had plunged a kitchen knife into the defenceless dad six times, leaving him for dead, Gazette Live reported.

The 40-year-old was in the driver’s seat of his car when he was attacked, in full view of his four-year-old, sitting in a booster seat in the rear of the car.

Layton had taken at least four of his anti-anxiety pills and drank beer that morning.

James Stokoe with his young son
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Image:

PA)

He walked home and changed his clothes after the attack, stashed his blood-stained backpack in a cupboard and then set off for a planned camping trip in Great Ayton.

Layton, who claimed in court that he was traumatised and in shock after stabbing Mr Stokoe, stopped a woman nearby to ask what had happened.

The woman told him a man has been killed.

The video next shows Layton, who is still carrying the murder weapon, catching a bus to Coulby Newham where he goes into Tesco to buy beer and a scratchcard.

He later buys some cannabis before walking to Great Ayton where he cooked salmon on a campfire and threw the knife he killed Mr Stokoe with away.

As Layton was tucking into the fish police had launched a massive murder investigation and were hunting for Layton.

Layton appeared calm as he made his way on a camping trip
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The Gazette)

In court Layton claimed he was intending to hand himself into police after his camping trip.

When police found him the next day he was ordering pizza in a takeaway in Great Ayton.

Layton is due to be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court today for the murder of much-loved car dealership worker.

A jury found Layton guilty of murder and on a second charge of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

The murderer, dressed in an open-necked shirt and light grey suit, appeared stunned as the verdict was read out.

Alexander Layton has been convicted of murder
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Image:

The Gazette)

The jury reached its verdict in just over two hours before there were shouts from the public gallery of “Oh my God” when it was read out.

The trial heard that Mr Stokoe had had to brake hard to avoid hitting Layton, who got off a bus and seemingly walked across the busy road without looking.

The murderer was found in a pizza shop by police
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Image:

The Gazette)

Mr Stokoe stopped his car and got out, shouting at Layton: “What the f*** do you think you’re doing? I almost ran you over. I’ve got a kid in the car.”

But Layton continued to walk across the road.

Mr Stokoe drove his car across the dual carriageway to confront Layton before an argument lasting a few seconds broke out.

Layton then leaned into the open car door and stabbed James Stokoe to death, holding onto the car with one hand for leverage.

The attack was capture on the dashcams of horrified passing motorists.

Residents, peering out of their windows after hearing the commotion, saw the murder.

A nurse rushed out of her home and began CPR on Mr Stokoe, while a boy in a passing car dialled 999.

A crowd of people also desperately tried to help.

Meanwhile Layton had fled to his home where he readied himself to go camping.

Mr Stokoe was pronounced dead less than 20 minutes after the attack.

Mr Stokoe’s family made an emotional tribute to him following the attack
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Evening Gazette)

“Nothing will ever bring back our beloved James and we have to live with the consequences of what happened for the rest of our lives,” his family said in a statement.

“He was a much loved husband, father, son and son in law and he is dearly missed by all of us.

“James was treasured by so many people with his wonderful, kind and gentle nature and his loss to us all is unimaginable.”

Senior Investigating Officer, temporary detective superintendent Helen Barker, said: “James Stokoe was subject to a horrifying attack which subsequently ended his life in the most tragic way.

“This was a shocking incident which occurred in the presence of James’ young son, which will undoubtedly have had a huge effect on him.

“The death of James has had a traumatic impact on his whole family and my thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.

“Today, Alexander Layton has been found guilty of this horrendous attack and I hope that any sentence handed down will provide some form of comfort to James’ family.

“Even though this will never bring James back, we hope that Layton receives a lengthy custodial sentence.

“I would like to acknowledge the bravery of James’ family throughout this investigation. This has been harrowing for them and they have acted with incredible dignity throughout this ordeal.

“Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many witnesses who came forward to assist officers with their investigation and I would also like to thank all the officers and staff who attended the scene and investigated the crime afterwards.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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