Memorial to teenager killed in Radcliffe hit-and-run ransacked

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide: CRASH VICTIM: Callum Hilton CRASH VICTIM: Callum Hilton

A GRIEVING family has slammed thieves who stole tributes to a 16-year-old hit-and-run victim.

Teenager Callum Hilton was hit by a drunk driver as he crossed Stand Lane in Radcliffe on November 3 last year, on his way to a party.

Callum, from Middleton, suffered a severe head injury and died later in hospital. He had been struck by a silver Peugeot 206 which, a court heard, was travelling at about 40mph in a 30mph zone.

The teenager’s friends and family regularly take flowers, photos, candles, teddies, trinkets and jewellery to railings adjacent to the spot where Callum was knocked down.

Earlier this month Callum’s grandparents went to the site to lay fresh flowers the day before what would have been his 18th birthday – December 18.

But when his grandfather Graham and grandmother Pat arrived they discovered the memorabilia had been removed from the fence with a craft-type knife.

In November, the memorial was defaced with cut-out car shapes pasted over photographs of Callum.

Mr Hilton said: “Callum is in our hearts and minds on a daily basis and those things are just items. “No one can do anything to us now. We have lost what we have lost and if they think they can hurt us they are wrong.

“But it is just sick. I call them maggots because that is all they are.

“We know our Callum was 100% better than the people who have done this. They couldn’t come near him. He was such a nice person.

“All they have done is show what kind of people they are.

“It shows Callum is in their head for some reason – he is getting to them and is there all the time with them.”

Mr Hilton, who visits the site on the fourth of every month, said the family are now undecided about whether to continue leaving tributes on Stand Lane.

He said his wife Pat was “devastated” when she discovered the damage and Callum’s mum Tricia was “absolutely furious”.

Mr Hilton added: “As a family we would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported us in the past few years.

“A lot of the residents have been brilliant and always come over to let us know their feelings when they see us at the memorial.

“Callum’s friends have also been fantastic.

“Unfortunately it seems you get people trying to spoil things.”

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.

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.

A spokesperson for Bury Council confirmed the authority had not removed any of the items so the act has been logged as a theft by Greater Manchester Police.

Callum’s mum Tricia regularly posts heartbreaking messages about the loss of her son on a public Facebook page.

On December 17 she wrote: “(The memorial) looks a pitiful sight now. Stand Lane as it really is I suppose.

“Dimly lit, no candles or flowers just a death trap for good people that don’t deserve to die.

“Heartless and no respect for the place where his friends and our family paid tribute.”

Callum’s close friend Leanne Kenyon, aged 17 and from Bury, said: “I find it absolutely disgusting how people can steal from a tribute without a care in the world as to what it means to Callum’s friends and family.

“It is disgraceful. I know they wouldn’t be happy if this happened to one of their family members so why do it to other people.”

Seif Taha, owner of the Hawthorn Hotel, said he noticed the tributes which usually line the pavement opposite his establishment were missing on the morning of December 15.

He said: “They could have been removed earlier but I did not notice as I was working away most of the day on Saturday.

“There is nothing else I can say about it except I feel very sorry for the grieving family.”

Steven Quinn, of Glenvale Close, Radcliffe, was jailed for more than six years in May after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

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