Men guilty of murdering Jonathan Fitchett at Cables retail park, Prescot

St Helens Star: Jonathan Fitchett Jonathan Fitchett

TWO men were today convicted of the murder of a 22-year-old man who simply went to a retail park to buy a football and ended up being battered to death.

A jury found Gerard Childs and Stephen Price, both aged 28, guilty of the murder of Jonathan Fitchett.

He was battered to death after he arrived at the Cables Retail Park in Prescot, Liverpool, on a hot sunny day at lunchtime on July 11 this year.

CCTV footage played to the jury showed him being attacked by the two men outside the JD Sports store.

Childs, of King Edward Road, Rainhill, and Price, of Hayes Avenue, Prescot, both denied his murder and Child's QC told the court that he and his family had been shocked at the verdict.

The judge, Mrs Justice Cox, is to sentence the men tomorrow morning after studying character references and letters.

Gordon Cole, QC, prosecuting, told how Mr Fitchett, who had gone to the retail park to buy a football to play with his girlfriend's young nephew, was unable to defend himself during part of the attack.

Apparently there was bad blood between Mr Fitchett and Childs and he approached Childs outside the shops but Childs threw the first punch.

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

During the course of the attack both of the defendants kicked and punched Mr Fitchett to the body and legs. 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.

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.

The "violent and sustained attack left Jonathan Fitchett unconscious on the floor" and once Childs and Price left the scene in a black Ford Focus witnesses called the emergency services.

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

Mr Cole told the judge that the prosecution accepted that there had been no intention to kill Mr Fitchett but to cause serious bodily harm.

Childs and Price both claimed to be scared of the victim and claimed they acted in self-defence.




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