Jonathon McPhillips: Heartbroken mother of murdered Canonbury man JJ urges witnesses to come forward after trial collapses

PUBLISHED: 19:11 13 August 2018 | UPDATED: 19:23 13 August 2018

Jonathon 'JJ' McPhillips. Picture: Michelle McPhillips

Jonathon 'JJ' McPhillips. Picture: Michelle McPhillips


A “tormented” bereaved mother has urged witnesses to come forward after the case against her son’s suspected killer collapsed due to a lack of evidence.

Jonathon “JJ” McPhillips, of Canonbury, was stabbed through the chest outside Islington Town Hall, in Upper Street, on February 25 last year.

Michelle McPhillips told the Gazette today: “What we need is for witnesses to come forward and break the wall of silence.

“People have got to realise that there is six murderers walking the streets. Anyone covering up for a murder is not doing them a favour but empowering them to do it again.”

JJ died three days after the stabbing in hospital, aged 28, and left behind his two young children.

Michael Dyra, 22, of Hoxton, was due to stand trial at the Old Bailey today, after he was charged with the murder of Jonathon in February.

But the prosecution provided no evidence on the charges and the case concluded.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson said: “We keep evidence under constant review. In this case, concerns were raised by facial mapping experts regarding reliability. Following consultation, it was agreed there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction so no evidence was offered. The judge agreed with this decision.”

Addressing her son’s killers, Michelle – who has become an anti-knife activist since her JJ’s death – said: “You may be in a gang now but gangs split up and people talk.

“You will never be safe and you are doing a life sentence before you’ve been sentenced because you can’t rest easy.

“There are five other people who know you did it.”

She believes people caught with blades should be sent to prison straight away for a minimum of two years as a deterrent to stop people becoming murderers. And, she added, “no comment” responses to questions should not be accepted by the justice system.

Michelle, who also manages the Green Man pub in Essex Road, said: “My son was an innocent child killed on the streets of Islington and I don’t want anyone else to walk in my shoes. It’s absolute torment.

“I will never give up and I dedicate my life to catching my son’s killers.”

The Met police released CCTV footage from the night JJ was attacked last year, which shows a group of six men, some brandishing large knives, pursuing him. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.

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