The grieving mum of teenager Jonjo Highton, killed in a Preston street, has spoken of her heartbreak.
The 18-year-old father died in St Stephen’s Road last month, and a murder investigation was launched.
Now his mum Tracey has paid tribute to her “lovely, funny” son, and told of his plans to turn his life around.
“He was my baby - even at 18 he was my baby”, said Tracey, 41. “He was a lovely, funny baby, and he would make you smile.
“He was funny growing up - he used to plant flowers for my mum.
“He was really good, he was a bit of a geek and wore glasses. He was great, and when he got to 13 he went to high school, started hanging around with different people and made different friends.
“Then he didn’t really want to go to Nana’s any more.”
Jonjo went to St Ignatius Catholic Primary School and then on to Fulwood High School and Moor Park High School.
Tracey, who lives in Deepdale, close to where Jonjo died, said: “He had been naughty but he was growing up, he was 18, he was allowed.
“But of everyone he knew he was one of the best ones.”
In June last year, Jonjo suffered horrific injuries when he was attacked with a machete, and two men were later jailed in connection with that incident.
Tracey thought her son was turning his life around after what had happened.
“He would do anything for anyone, he would take trouble for anyone and he would stop trouble”, she said.
“The worst thing is, after what happened last year, he said ‘That’s it I’m turning my life around’, and he was.”
But, just less than two weeks ago, Tracey was given the devastating news that her son had been killed.
He died on the night of Saturday August 23 this year, and seven people to date have been charged with his murder.
Police were called at around 11.20pm, and Jonjo was found in the street with serious injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The last time Tracey spoke to her son was just hours before he died.
“I rang him at 9.30pm and said I’ve got that health and safety book you can read it”, she said.
“He wanted to get a health and safety card so he could be a labourer on the roads, because he had already been doing it for a few weeks and he loved it.
“I thought I would never see the day he was wanting to work, but he was up working at 6am. Everything was turning around.
“He’s got a little boy, Taylor, who is two-and-a-half, and he would have had a good life.
“He was brilliant as a dad, he just didn’t get the chance, really.
“But when he did have him he was good.
“At least I’ve got Taylor, and he will live on in him.”
Tracey said: “No way was he perfect, but he was perfect to me because he’s my son.
“I was still washing his clothes and ironing - I did everything for him.
“After what had happened I got a second chance.
“It just shouldn’t have happened. Nobody deserves that. Not any human being would deserve that.”
Tracey said Taylor and her son Byron, 24, were “the only thing that keeps me going”, and said: “I just wish it could have been me.
“Life will never be the same.
“He’s gone and people are grieving now and life goes on for everybody else, but my life will never go on.
“I’ll never get over this - I’ve lost my son.”