A barrister has urged jurors not to be prejudiced by the fact a man accused of murder is banned from attending his trial.
Stephen Walton, 24, of no fixed address, who denies murdering Jon-jo Highton, 18, refused to complete giving evidence, and refused to leave his cell.
Trouble throughout the case resulted in a judicial decision banning three defendants from the dock.
David Fish QC described his conduct as “inexplicable, stupid, rude and disrespectful” adding: “We don’t seek to justify his behaviour. He is what he is, as you know, and he’s obviously no ornament to society in general.
“It is perhaps the case manners did not feature in his fractured upbringing, and the results have been on display in this case. It might have excited prejudice against him. But any prejudice has no place in this court and the formation of your verdicts.”
Arron Graham, 23, of Ripon Street; Owen Whitesmith, 19, of Glebe Close; Craig Walton, 26, of Watling Street Road; Zaahid Patel, 20, of Park Avenue; Joshua Bore, 19, of Morris Road; Mohammed Sabbah Dal, 20, of Alice Square; and Minhaj Musa, 21, of Deepdale Road, all Preston 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. (proceeding)
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