Details of the ferocious attack on murdered Preston teenager Jon-Jo Highton are being outlined to the jury as the prosecution opens the case against the men accused of killing him.
The dad-of-one was attacked in St Stephen’s Road, Deepdale, by a group of at least eight armed men who jumped out of two vehicles to target Jon-Jo as he walked from the Charnock pub in St Annes Street to a friend’s house nearby.
Jon-Jo’s mum, Tracey Highton, who has been present throughout proceedings, began crying as a map of the route her soon took was shown to the jury.
A graphic computer generated image depicting the deep wound to the side of Jon-Jo’s face, neck and ear, proved too much for her and she left the courtroom in tears, accompanied by a police support worker.
Neil Flewitt QC, prosecuting, warned the court the image was “unpleasant” and explained photographs of Jon-Jo’s injuries which were taken as part of the post-mortem would not be shown in court. However CGIs have been produced to show the ferocity of the attack.
Jon-Jo died at the scene after suffering numerous injuries the prosecution allege to have been caused by several weapons.
We are not able to say which of the defendants struck that fatal blow but what we do say is that each of the defendant’s charged with (Jon-Jo’s murder) is guilty of that offence because he participated in the attack and did so with murderous intent
Mr Flewitt QC said; “We are not able to say which of the defendants struck that fatal blow but what we do say is that each of the defendant’s charged with (Jon-Jo’s murder) is guilty of that offence because he participated in the attack and did so with murderous intent.”
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.