UPDATE: 33 years for killer of Gidea Park dad

An aging hitman was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 33 years this week for the cold-blooded murder of young Gidea Park dad Rocky Dawson.

An aging hitman was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 33 years this week for the cold-blooded murder of young Gidea Park dad Rocky Dawson.

Evil James Tomkins, 61, is set to die in jail as he will be approaching his 95th birthday before his earliest possible release date.

Tomkins had been living as a fugitive in a luxurious Spanish seaside resort for four years before police captured and extradited him last summer..

Judge Byers told him on Monday: “I appreciate the obvious impact this may have upon you.”

Tomkins remained stony-faced as sentenced was passed at Woolwich Crown Court, staring blankly ahead at the judge.

Mr Dawson’s family kept a dignified silence throughout, but his devastated mum Candy wept as she left court.

Most Read

Tomkins blasted Rocky, 24, from the passenger seat of a 4x4 as he helped his son Rocky Junior and stepdaughter Georgia - then aged two and six - into his car on the driveway of his parents’ home in Ardleigh Green Road, Hornchurch, five years ago.

Despite a lengthy investigation police are still unable to establish why Rocky, who lived in Elvet Avenue, was targeted.

The judge said: “In May 2006 a young man with a young family, who was much-loved by that family, was shot and killed. You were the gunman who took his life.

“As has already been stated in this court this was a well-planned crime carried out in cold-blood in front of his children.

“The crime was also carried out on the step of his parents’ home and he died in his relatives’ arms as a result of what you had done.

“This must have been a dreadful experience for the whole family and you have shown no remorse.”

Tomkins showed no emotion has he was led to the cells.

The 4x4 driver Christopher Pearman, of Waltham Abbey, pleaded guilty to his involvement in the murder and was jailed for life in January 2007..

He is serving a minimum 23-year sentence.

Tomkins denied murder.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter