A DRUG dealer has been telling the jury murder accused Arran Graham stabbed him in the leg three years before Jon-Jo Highton was brutally murdered by a gang of men in St Stephen’s Road, Deepdale.
The man, who can not be identified, also said co-accused Stephen Walton confessed to having been involved in the attack on Jon-Jo but said “Scottish” (Graham) had gone too far.
Jon-Jo, 18, died from a deep wound to his neck after being attacked after leaving the Charnock pub in Deepdale with two women last August.
Eight men, including Graham and Walton, are accused of murdering him and a further three charged with assisting an offender.
Giving evidence from behind screens the witness told the jury he had confronted Walton about the attack after reading reports of Jon-Jo’s murder on Facebook. He said Walton denied any involvement but a few days later admitted he had been there.
“He said he didn’t do anything but Scottish went too far,” he told Preston Crown Court. “I just said, ‘You’re bang out of order, 10 of you jumping one guy with blades. It’s wrong.”
He said Walton admitted hitting Jon-Jo with the flat part of an axe but said the murder was down to Arran Graham.
Peter Moulson QC, defending Graham, put it to the witness he hated his client as he claimed to have been stabbed by him in 2011. But the man said: “I hate what he did to me. I don’t hate his personality.”
He denied trying to “tick all the boxes” for the police in a bid to improve his situation after being caught with drugs at his flat, saying: “I’m trying to get to the truth.”
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.