‘I don’t think I will ever get over Jon-Jo’s death’

Jonjo Highton, and mum Tracey

Jonjo Highton, and mum Tracey

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Teenager Jon-Jo Highton should have been looking forward to a festive drink with his dad, and giving gifts to his two-year-old son on Christmas Day.

But this year, his heartbroken loved-ones will be spending Christmas by his graveside.

Jon-Jo Highton and brother Byron

Jon-Jo Highton and brother Byron

Jon-Jo was 18 when he was knifed to death in a Preston street in August, leaving behind a devastated family.

Today, his grieving mum Tracey has told of the heartache of facing her first Christmas without her son.

“I don’t think I’m ever going to get over this”, she said.

“Sometimes I think it’s not real. Sometimes I still think he’s going to walk through the door.”

Jon-Jo left behind his two-year-old son, Taylor. Tracey, 42, said: “He’s not going to see him.

“I’ve got a DVD of pictures of Jon-Jo that I played at the funeral, so this year our Christmas will be going to mass and in the morning it will be watching the DVD and going to the cemetery.

“I’ve got us jumpers, we will probably let some balloons off. It’s just not what should be happening on Christmas Day.

“It’s going to be the worst Christmas ever. I’m going to have to paint a smile on my face to Byron and Taylor and my mum and everybody, but it’s just not the same.

“But Byron is still here, Taylor is here and Jon-Jo wouldn’t want us not to be happy for Taylor.

“Every time I have Taylor at my house he points at the picture and says ‘My daddy’ and says ‘I want to see my daddy on the telly’, so I play it to him every time.”
Jon-Jo would have celebrated his 19th birthday in September.

Tracey, who lives in Deepdale, said: “We had his birthday on September 15, then it was my birthday in October and now it’s Christmas.

“I don’t want any of it. There’s no Christmas tree in my house, no cards.

“The only card I will be getting is one for Taylor from daddy and I’ll do that every year so he knows it’s from heaven.

“He’s never, ever going to forget him.”

Tracey added it was not just Christmas, but every day, which was difficult. She said: “I’ve got a life sentence. My life has gone.

“There’s half of me for Byron and Taylor, but I’m just not the same person. I’m empty. I’m lost.”

Tracey said her youngest son would have been looking forward to receiving new clothes and trainers at Christmas.

She said: “He would have been having a pint with his dad – him and his dad had become really close. The saddest thing about it is he had turned his life around.”

l A total of 13 people have been charged in connection with Jon-Jo’s death, including eight who have been charged with murder.

Three people have been charged with assisting an offender, and two people have been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. They all deny the charges against them.