Murder trial shown CCTV footage of moments Jonathan Fitchett was beaten to death Cables Retail Park in Prescot

St Helens Star: Jonathan Fitchett Jonathan Fitchett

A MURDER trial was told today how a 22-year-old man who simply went to a retail park to buy a football on a sunny day ended up being battered to death.

Jonathan Fitchett arrived at the Cables Retail Park in Prescot, at lunchtime on July 11 this year and CCTV footage showed him being attacked by two men outside the JD Sports store.

In the dock at Liverpool Crown Court are Gerard Childs, 28, of King Edward Road, Rainhill, and Stephen Price, 28, of Hayes Avenue, Prescot, who both deny his murder.

While Gordon Cole, QC, was outlining the prosecution case and told how Mr Fitchett was allegedly assaulted while unable to defend himself, the victim's distraught mother had to be helped from the public gallery and collapsed just outside the courtroom.

Mr Cole told the jury: “The injuries sustained were fatal, we say each of the defendants played their part in the attack on Mr Fitchett and their part in the injuries which led to his death.

"We say during the course of the attack both of the defendants kicked and punched Jonathan Fitchett to the head and body.

"He was pulled to the floor and while on the floor he was seen by witnesses to try and protect his head using his hands."

He told the jury that while kneeling on the floor the victim had his top pulled over his head, went backwards to the floor and was repeatedly punched while his arms were at his side.

Mr Fitchett had gone to the retail park as his partner had asked him to buy a football as they were planning to take her nephew out that afternoon.

But the "unprovoked, violent and sustained attack left Jonathan Fitchett "unconscious on the floor", alleged Mr Cole.

He added that once Childs and Price left the scene in a black Ford Focus witnesses called the emergency services.

Mr Fitchett was taken to Whiston Hospital but was pronounced dead the following lunchtime and a post mortem found the cause was bleeding on the brain.

CCTV footage of the incident was played to the jury in which Childs was seen talking to Mr Fitchett outside the shops and then punched him.

Price ran over to join in and the struggle then continued across the car park with footage apparently showing the defendants aiming kicks as well as punching him.

Mr Cole said that the defendants surrendered to the police on July 13 and when interviewed said they had been acting in self defence, either of themselves or in the defence of the other.

The case continues


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