A WOMAN who witnessed the murder of her friend, Preston teenager Jon-Jo Highton has been giving a harrowing account of the final minutes she spent with him.
In an emotional testimony, the woman - who can not be identified for legal reasons - recounted meeting Jon-Jo in the Charnock pub in St Annes Street, where he was watching football with his dad Joe.
There was obviously a lot of people and they were trying to hurt Jon-Jo.I saw them all crowded around him. I thought they were battering him
But after they left the pub and walked towards a friend’s house to carry on drinking she heard the screech of tyres and saw a man trying to pull her friend into one of the two vehicles which had stopped in St Stephen’s Road.
She said: “He tried to run away and he shouted to me to run away as well. I think he ran between the two cars and they all just got out.
“There was obviously a lot of people and they were trying to hurt Jon-Jo so I just turned round and started knocking on a door.
“I saw them all crowded around him. I thought they were battering him.”
In the minutes that followed the men got back into the cars and the vehicles drove away.
The woman walked over to Jon-Jo who was seriously injured.
She said: “I didn’t see them with any weapons but they clearly had them because of what they had done to him.”
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.