Jon-Jo court latest: car seen near murder scene

Jon-Jo Highton with mum Tracey

Jon-Jo Highton with mum Tracey

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A Vauxhall Meriva driven by murder accused Minhaj Musa was seen driving around the Deepdale area, minutes before Preston teenager Jon-Jo Highton was killed.

The jury at Preston Crown Court has seen footage taken from cameras at Moor Park High School, St George’s Road, Harewood Road and Morrison’s supermarket in Blackpool Road.

In a separate set of images, the jury was shown a Vauxhall Vectra approach Bargain Booze in Trafford Street, Plungington, and a man the prosecution alleges to be co-accused Arran Graham run towards the vehicle.

Neil Flewitt QC, prosecuting, says both vehicles travelled together to St Stephen’s Road, where the attack on Jon-Jo took place on August 23 last year.

Footage showed the cars in close proximity at 11.16pm in St Paul’s Road.

When questioned about his movements on the night of the murder, Musa gave officers a detailed account of the route he drove after collecting Mohammed Sabbah Dal from Morrison’s, where he was seen leaving work just after 10.45pm.

In a statement given to the police five days after the murder, Musa said: “All I knew was they wanted me to drive them around. Shortly after Sabbah got in the car, Zaahid took a phone call and I heard him, say “Alright, sound” and he asked me to drop him off at St Paul’s Road.”

Officers from Lancashire police drove the route Musa had set out, and confirmed the journey he described in interview matched the CCTV evidence they had gathered from businesses and private houses.

The prosecution case is Musa, Sabbah Dal and Zaahid Patel travelled in the Meriva and met up with Owen Whitesmith, Arran Graham, Joshua Bore, Craig Walton and Stephen Walton, who were in a Vectra.

Jon-Jo was attacked by a group of at least eight men armed with knives, axes and a samurai sword, suffering severe injuries.

Owen Whitesmith, 19, of Glebe Close Fulwood; Arron Graham, 23, Ripon Street, Preston; Stephen Walton, 24, of no fixed address; Craig Walton, 26, of Watling Street Road, Fulwood; Joshua Bore, 19, of Morris Road, Ribbleton; Zaahid Patel, 20, of Park Avenue, Preston; Mohammed Sabbah Dal, 20, of Alice Square, Preston; and Minhaj Musa, 21, of Deepdale Road, Preston, all deny murder.

Liam Tunstall, 26, of Mark Close, Penwortham; John Wilding, 36, of Everton Street, Darwen and Stuart Eastham, 32, Gisburn Road, Ribbleton deny assisting an offender.

(Proceeding)