Stars back parents’ fight for justice

News story
News story

A WIGAN man whose son was murdered during a vicious street attack is hoping celebrities will help raise awareness of his campaign.

Andy Jones, who was raised in Whelley, and his wife Christine are asking famous names to pose with a poster containing a fresh appeal for witnesses to an attack in which their son Andrew was fatally injured 11 years ago.

The 18-year-old died in March 2003 after being beaten up by a gang of drunken yobs.

He had been out celebrating his cousin Lee’s 30th birthday in Liverpool city centre when five youths accused him of banging into one of them and he was attacked.

One punch knocked him backwards and he hit his head on the pavement.

He was also kicked and stamped on as he lay on the ground.

He died the following afternoon in hospital.

Mr Jones says there were many witnesses to the fatal assault, but some turned a blind eye.

Four suspects were arrested soon after but only one stood trial for murder and the case collapsed after four days.

Celebrities to show their support so far include actor and comedian Ricky Tomlinson, actress Sheridan Smith, TV personality Colleen Nolan, Right Said Fred, footballers and Benidorm star Chrissy Rock.

Andy, 49, who now lives in Liverpool, said: “My wife and I were dismayed when the Crown Prosecution Service said to us there was no public interest.

“We tried to push for a prosecution for Joint Enterprise but we were told it was not premeditated.

“But we want to raise the issue and highlight that just one punch can change someone’s life forever.

“One punch can kill.

“So I have contacted some celebrities on Facebook and Twitter and e-mailed them a copy of the poster and asked them to take a photo of themselves with it.

“I have also seen some out in Liverpool city centre and asked them to pose.

“I then put the photos on Facebook and Twitter.”

Eleven years on, Mr and Mrs Jones are still fighting for justice and they believe they know which member of the gang threw the killer punch, but with the gang accused covering for each other, a prosecution could never follow.

Mr Jones also spoke of his shock of another brutal incident, involving 36-year-old Mark Burrows, from Hindley, who was on a night out in Leeds when he was punched two years ago.

Mark was left paralysed, whilst his attacker escaped jail.

Mr Jones said: “The sentence was a joke.

“This attack again shows that street violence and punches can carry as much devastation as a knife.”

If any celebrities wishes to join the Jones’ campaign visit, or or e-mail