Murder accused denies using weapon

KILLED: Jon-Jo Highton, pictured with his mum Tracey
KILLED: Jon-Jo Highton, pictured with his mum Tracey
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A suspect in the Jonjo Highton murder trial admitted regularly carrying a knife, but said he never used it.

Stephen Walton, 24, of no fixed abode, told Preston Crown Court he was a drug dealer who carried a knife in his trousers for protection. He also admitted taking a hammer, knife and sword to Jonjo’s girlfriend’s flat for her protection.

On August 23, 2014 - the night Jonjo died - Walton said he was picked up for a “cruise” in a Vauxhall Vectra, organised by Owen Whitesmith. Plans then changed to searching out three men suspected of assaulting Whitesmith’s mum’s friend.

Walton said the Vectra came across a Vauxhall Meriva containing other defendants, and followed it into St Stephen’s Road, where occupants of both cars got out. Walton said he stood by the Vectra and watched Whitesmith run to Jonjo, but said parked cars obstructed him from seeing anything else. He denies seeing or using any weapons, or assaulting Jonjo.

Jonjo, 18, died from multiple stab and slash injuries .

Owen Whitesmith, 19, of Glebe Close Fulwood; Arron Graham, 23, Ripon Street, Preston; Stephen Walton, 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.