MURDER TRIAL LATEST: Cabbie tells of picking up Jon-Jo murder accused

Jonjo Highton and Taylor
Jonjo Highton and Taylor
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  • Cabbie tells of’panicky’ rushing men
  • CCTV shown of cars linked to case
  • Accused laughing and sniggering in dock
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A CABBIE has told a court how he picked up two men on the night of Jon-Jo Highton’s murder who told him “Come on, we need to go.”

In a written statement, the driver, who cannot be identified, said he collected a fare from Watling Street Road.

He saw two men stood on a grassed area who approached his taxi.

He said: “One said ‘come on, we need to go’. The males seemed in a rush and were telling me to go.

“I specifically remember this fare as the males wanted me to go.”

The court heard he must have dropped off the two men in the area near Emmanuel Street Labour Club because that is where his next pick up was.

A second cabbie made a statement about another taxi journey alleged to have been made by defendant Owen Whitesmith.

He said: “I had been asked to account for a fare that shows a booking at 11.35pm to pick up from Watling Street Road to Vicarage Lane in Preston.

“I pulled into the turning area, and almost immediately man came running from the flats themselves. He came straight to the car.

The man got into the car, he sat in the front seat. I recognised I had picked him up on many occasions.

“When he got on he said ‘Lea Close’. The man did appear a little panicky to me as he appeared to be in a rush.”

Some of defendants were laughing and sniggering amongst each other as the proceedings took place.

Earlier, jurors were shown CCTV evidence of the movement of two cars alleged to be linked to the murder of Preston man Jon-Jo Highton.

Giving evidence at Preston Crown Court, Det Sgt Wendy Ryan led the jury through a mixture of complex evidence concerning CCTV footage of cars, mobile phone cell siting evidence, and text message evidence.

The court also heard how several of Mr Highton’s friends tried to contact him on his mobile in the minutes after he was attacked on St Stephen’s Road in Deepdale, but were unable to reach him “for obvious reasons”.

The dad-of-one, 18, suffered multiple stab and slash injuries including a large wound to his face and neck thought to have been inflicted with a sword.

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.