Grave fear for mum of murdered Preston teen

Tracey Highton fears the length of the memorial area by her sons grave will have to be shortened
Tracey Highton fears the length of the memorial area by her sons grave will have to be shortened

The mum of a murdered Preston teenager says she fears controversial rules will soon be enforced making her reduce the size of her son’s grave plot.

Tracey Highton’s 18-year-old son Jon-Jo was killed in 2014 and is buried at Preston Cemetery.

Tracey pictured with Jon-Jo, who was killed in 2014

Tracey pictured with Jon-Jo, who was killed in 2014

His family paid for an eight foot plot but two years later council chiefs introduced restrictions on memorials, limiting them to two foot and six inches.

READ MORE: ‘I don’t think I will ever get over Jon-Jo’s death’

Tracey, 45, from Preston, believes City Hall are now preparing to direct families who buried relatives prior to the rule changes to comply with the new boundaries.

Preston Council says there “no immediate plans to send out letters” making any such direction.

READ MORE: Mum’s ‘bittersweet’ moment for Jon-Jo

“If you look at my [son’s} resting place it’s well maintained,” said Tracey, who will visit Jon-Jo’s grave on Saturday, which would have been his 23rd birthday.

She added: “It’s somewhere for me to go. It’s not tacky at all.

READ MORE: Jon-Jo killer must serve extra time in jail after failed appeal

“They are saying it’s because they can’t mow the grass but I cut my own grass.

Dad-of-one Jon-Jo was fatally stabbed in August 2014 in St Stephen’s Road, Deepdale.

READ MORE: Nine men jailed for 163 years for murder of Jon-Jo Highton and for assisting offenders

Six men were later convicted of his murder under joint enterprise rules.

David Hudson, who also has a family member in the cemetery, said: “People want more freedom and length to their grave spaces.

“Some families have had this for 10 years so they are upset.”

Exceptions can be made on religious grounds.

Petition calls

A 4,500-strong petition was presented to Preston Council calling for a relaxation in the rules. The Friends of Preston Cemetary wanted a compromise of four feet.

Son’s final resting place

‘It’s somewhere for me to call and it is not at all tacky.’