A FAMILY enraged by thieves who stole items from a memorial to a teenage hit-and-run victim have vowed to continue leaving tributes at the site.
Callum Hilton, from Middleton, was 16 years old when a car driven by a drunk driver hit him as he crossed Stand Lane in Radcliffe on November 3, 2012.
The teenager, who had been on his way to a party, suffered a severe head injury and died later in hospital.
Callum’s friends and family regularly leave flowers, photos, candles, teddies and jewellery near the spot where he was knocked down.
But last month when the teenager’s grandparents went to the site to lay fresh flowers they discovered the memorabilia had been removed with a knife.
Initially Callum’s grandfather Graham said the family were uncertain as to whether they would reinstate the memorial but have now decided to carry on leaving smaller items. Mr Hilton said he and wife Pat visited the site over Christmas and New Year and returned to the scene on January 4, as they do every month.
He said: “This is not going to deter me going down there whenever I want to – I will not let these people get to me.
“All his friends are upset by this but we are not going to forget him.
“It will never be how it was, but we don’t want it how it was. Why put things out for idiots to steal.”
Callum, his cousin and two friends had been on their way to a party advertised on Facebook and were crossing Stand Lane to ask for directions in the Hawthorn Hotel when the accident happened.
A court subsequently heard the silver Peugeot 206 which hit the teenager was travelling at around 40mph in a 30mph zone.
In November, the memorial was defaced with cut-out car shapes pasted over photographs of Callum.
Callum’s mum Tricia Hilton said Stand Lane is a “traumatising place” for her but was somewhere for friends and family to remember and reminisce.
She said: “The memorial is a place for anybody who wishes to pay their respects – a place where Cal’s life was so tragically and needlessly taken by that drunk driver.
“I have the upmost respect for each and every one of the friends who visit the site as all our family do – they make us so proud.
“Yes it makes me angry people could do this, but just outlines the fact my son is a better person than whoever did this could ever wish to be.
“All I can say is do not let those negative, vile excuses for human beings stop those that wish to go still from going.
“Callum would be in awe and amazed at the commitment to him from those lovely people that continue to go to Stand Lane as I am.
“He was and is truly loved and respected by many and he wouldn’t give the thieves the time of day or even hate them for what they have done.”
The theft is being investigated by Greater Manchester Police, with no arrests made so far.
Many of Callum’s friends from Radcliffe and Bury regularly visit the memorial, withothers from Middleton often travelling to Stand Lane to pay their respects.
Callum’s close friend Leanne Kenyon, aged 17 and from Bury, said: “It has not stopped us from leaving messages, trinkets and candles.
“I go there quite often and leave things as well as everyone else – and we still will.”
- Steven Quinn, of Glenvale Close, Radcliffe, was jailed for more than six years in May after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving