A vigil was held for murdered teenager Andrew Jones today, ten years after he died following being attacked on a night out in Liverpool, with Merseyside Police still seeking his killer.
Family and friends laid flowers in his memory at a plaque in St John’s Gardens, stating the words ‘Families Fighting for Justice: From one moment in time leaving us a lifetime of suffering’, before being led by a bagpipe player through the city centre to Hanover Street, where Andrew died at the age of 18.
The Everton fan was walking home from his cousin’s birthday night out along Hanover Street at 3.15am on Sunday, March 9th 2003, when he was floored by a punch and fatally cracked his head on the pavement.
Described by his mum Christine as “a lovely boy who wanted to be everybody’s friend”, Andrew died the next day, and his killer has never been brought to justice, with the gang suspected of the attack accused of concocting a story to cover each other’s backs.
The mother of Andrew, Christine Jones, told JMU Journalism: “With it being Mothers’ Day today, I should be out celebrating today with him, letting him buy whatever it is he wants to buy me, but instead I’m giving him flowers and that’s not right. All because somebody decided that they were clever and hard to hurt him for no reason at all.
“If they’re so big and hard enough to hurt him that night, why aren’t they big and hard enough to own up to what they’ve done?”
Appealing to the suspected gang, Christine, from Walton, added: “Until you own up to what you’ve done and come forward, I’m never going to get justice, but you’re also never going to live your life properly. I know every time you close your eyes at night you see Andrew, and I hope you feel nothing but guilt, because I see Andrew every time I close my eyes. But I can’t speak to him or hold him and put my arms round him, like your mum can do to you, so please give yourself up.”
Families Fighting for Justice has supported Christine and her husband Andy in their quest for justice for the last five years. Founded by Jean Taylor, after her sister, son and daughter were all victims of murder, the organisation constantly fights for the laws of murder to change. A patron for the organisation, comedienne Crissy Rock, was at the vigil to pay her tributes to Andrew, by setting off a lantern.
In a speech at the vigil, Jean Taylor reached out to the suspects, saying: “We will never ever stop until we have you where you belong, and you all now belong in front of that judge for perverting the course of justice; all and each and every one of you belong in prison.
“Can you not, today of all days, search your conscience and tell the truth? To give Andy, Christine and their family some form of peace, because without justice peace will never come.”
Police made an appeal to football fans at the Everton v Wigan FA Cup match at Goodison Park yesterday, distributing posters and using advertising boards. The big screens opposite Liverpool Lime Street station, and in St John’s Shopping Centre also featured the appeal today.
Along with this, Andy and Christine Jones and the police have released a video appeal for anyone with information about the attack to come forward, and charity Crimestoppers is offering a reward of £10,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of anyone responsible for Andrew’s death.
If you have any information, you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the Merseyside Police Incident Room on 0151 777 8660.