Samurai sword thought to be murder weapon in Jon-Jo trial

Tribute to murdererd Deepdale dad-of-one Jon-Jo Highton
Tribute to murdererd Deepdale dad-of-one Jon-Jo Highton
  • Broken blade of Samuri sword found at murder scene
  • Head of a golf club also found
  • Paramedics say Jon-Jo could never have recovered from injuries
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THE broken blade of a Samurai sword, thought to be the weapon which dealt the fatal blow to Preston teenager Jon-Jo Highton, was found at the scene of his killing.

A hilt, matching the broken blade and carrying murder accused Owen Whitesmith’s DNA, was later recovered from a Vauxhall Vectra which carried Owen Whitesmith and Arran Graham to St Stephen’s Road, Deepdale on the night of the murder.

Jon-Jo was set upon in the Preston street after eight men, dressed in dark clothing and wearing balaclavas and scarves over their faces, jumped from a Vauxhall Vectra and Vauxhall Meriva and launched the vicious attack on the dad-of-one. Other gang members were said to be armed with an axe, a golf club and hunting knives.

The court has been shown graphic images of ten severe injuries to Jon-Jo’s neck, face, leg and shoulder.

Paramedics who worked on Jon-Jo said it would have been impossible for him to recover from his injuries, which included a severed jugular vein, and he died at the scene.

One of the defendants Zaahid Patel later told police Whitesmith was “buzzing” and said: “Yeah it was us” when he phoned him after thne attack on Jon-Jo.

He was bringing [a golf club] over his head and down in a chopping motion.

The head of a golf club was also found at the murder scene and when officers recovered the Meriva they found the matching cover.

A neighbour who witnessed the attack from his bedroom window on the opposite side of the road said he saw a man hitting a man on the floor with what looked like a golf club “which he was bringing over his head and down in a chopping motion.”

Also charged with murder are Joshua Bore, Craig Walton and Stephen Walton, who the prosecution says travelled in the Vauxhall Vectra with Whitesmith and Graham,

However all three men deny being present in St Stephen’s Road when Jon-Jo was attacked.

Zaahid Patel, Mohammed Sabbah Dal and Minhaj Musa are said to have been in the Meriva,

The court has also heard details of the movements of the vehicles after the murder.

The Vauxhall Vecra was found in Burnley after an attempt had been made to set fire to it.

The Meriva was recovered in Preston.

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.