Brother tells funeral of family’s heartbreak over Jonjo’s death

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Hundreds of people packed into a Preston church to pay their final respects to murder victim Jonjo Highton.

It was standing room only at English Martyrs Church in Garstang Road as Jonjo’s family and friends gathered to say farewell to the teenager, who was knifed to death in a Preston street in August.

Grief: The funeral of Jonjo Highton at English Martyrs Church and, left, Jonjo with son Taylor

Grief: The funeral of Jonjo Highton at English Martyrs Church and, left, Jonjo with son Taylor

Jonjo’s brother, Byron, paid tribute to the youngster, saying he would miss his “cheeky grin”.

He said: “The bond between two brothers is one of a kind.

“We sometimes didn’t see eye to eye on certain things, but a brother’s love is unbreakable.

“The night we found out he had died was unbearable, in fact there are no words to describe the pain. It was truly heartbreaking.

“The only thing that keeps me going is the fact we’ll see him again one day, and he left behind the angel, Taylor.”

As he fought back tears, he added: “Until the day we meet again, good night, God bless, love you.”

Crowds lined the pavement as the funeral cortege arrived, and white and blue flowers spelt out the words “bro” and “son” on top of the hearse.

Mourners filed into the church as Everything I Own by pop group Boyzone was played, and the funeral service was led by Father Frank Osman.

There were prayers and readings, and mourners sang All Things Bright and Beautiful and You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Father Frank said: “What we are here for is four things.

“Firstly, together to grieve, and it’s right that we should do so.

“Grief is borne out of love. You can’t get to know somebody, share their friendship, their love, and not feel something when they die.”

He added: “We share treasures.

“Things that are locked away in here that will always remind us of how Jonjo touched our lives.

“We call them memories, but they are treasures.”

Father Frank said the other elements of the day were faith and hope, and as the congregation prepared to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone, he said: “It gives us a reminder that faith, hope and love never die.”

As Jonjo’s coffin was carried out of the church to make its journey to Preston Cemetery, Lullaby by rapper Professor Green was played, who was described as “one of his favourites”.

Jonjo, who was due to celebrate his 19th birthday last month, died on the night of August 23 in St Stephen’s Road in Deepdale.

Seven people to date have been charged with his murder.