Man ‘not involved in Jon-Jo Highton attack’

Tribute to Jon-Jo Highton
Tribute to Jon-Jo Highton
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A man accused of involvement in the murder of a Preston dad has admitted being at the scene of the attack, but claims he was not involved.

Arron Graham, 23, of Ripon Street, Plungington, Preston, was flanked by two security guards as he stood in the secure glass witness box at Preston Crown Court.

He admitted being in a car with co-defendant Owen Whitesmith before the incident happened.

He said: “Owen wanted me to be there. I wasn’t looking personally for a confrontation.

“It was Owen’s trouble, it came through his door – it did not come through my door.”

Jon-Jo Highton, 18, suffered multiple stab and slash injuries, including a large wound to his face and neck, thought to have been inflicted with a sword.

The jury heard Graham claimed he had told Whitesmith if weapons were going to be involved he “wouldn’t go with him.”

However, Graham had received a text from Owen saying he had “big weapons.”

He was asked why he responded by texting back: “Good good.”

Graham replied: “I thought he was lying.”

He also denied seeing a sword in the car.

Graham denies murder, as does Owen Whitesmith, 19, of Glebe Close Fulwood; 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.

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.