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Why I had to dial 999 and tell police my son was a murderer who had killed a teenager

NewsWhy I had to dial 999 and tell police my son was a murderer who had killed a teenager

A former foster carer has detailed how she had to turn her killer son into police after he’d murdered a teenager. Donna Delbono, who is a mother of seven, had to contact police to tell them: “I think my son has killed someone.”

The champion-winning cake baker said the confession makes her shake with nerves as she recalls it.

Ms Delbono dialled 999 after her son Joshua, then 18, had told her about what had happened.

In an interview with the Mail, she said: “I said to him: ‘Did you kill this boy?’ And he said: ‘Mum, I did. But I didn’t know I had.”

She said her son told her he didn’t know his victim had died.

She told Joshua that she needed to make a phone call to the police and told him she was sorry.

He replied: “I know mum. That’s fine.” As he watched her make the call.

She explained: “I didn’t for a second consider not reporting Josh. It didn’t enter my head to try to protect him.

“But as I picked up the phone, I felt sick. I was shaking, crying. I didn’t know how to say what I needed to say.”

She added that “you never think one of your own children could do anything like that.”

Ms Delbono said she didn’t want to believe it and still feels that way.

And she said as her crying son kept saying sorry it “broke my heart to make that call, but I had no alternative. I made the right decision and I’d do it again in the same circumstances.”

Last week, Joshua was jailed for life for murdering 16-year-old Charley Bates during a fight between two groups of men in Radstock, Somerset, in July 2022.

He will serve a minimum of 21 years in prison before he’s eligible for release. He denied murder and claimed he’d acted in self-defence to protect a friend.

The fight broke out in a car park near the library and he fatally stabbed Bates, who he’d never met, after intervening to help a friend.

Ms Delbono said she feels “so terrible for Charley’s mother. I couldn’t face his parents. I told Josh I wanted to support him but I couldn’t.”

Her son, who has ADHD, she added was an Army cadet who played the bugle. He worked at a local dairy farm.

And she added he’s “not coping well” in prison.

“He’s been on suicide watch. He has really bad dreams, flashbacks from the scene. He talks about his guilt and he feels terrible remorse.”

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