Devastation after tributes to Callum are vandalised

Callum Regan Brown
Callum Regan Brown

A grieving mother has spoken of her devastation after a memorial site for her much-loved son was vandalised.

Callum Regan Brown, a former Todmorden High School student, was just 18 when he was killed in a car crash on Burnley Road in April 2014.

Driver Kyle Denneny was later sentenced to three years in a young offenders’ institution after admitting causing Callum’s death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit and while uninsured.

In the days and months after the teen’s death, hundreds of flowers were left in tribute to Callum and the scene of the crash became a memorial for all who knew him.

But last month, mementos left at the cherished site, including a hand-carved plaque made by one of Callum’s friends, were destroyed, leaving his family heartbroken.

Police have since questioned a 67-year-old woman in connection with the incident and she was handed a conditional caution for her actions.

Callum’s mum, Janet Flood, has now spoken of the pain the incident has caused to the tragic teen’s friends and family.

“I was just gob smacked when I found out, how could anybody do something like that? Things had been thrown into the river,” Mrs Flood, 53, said.

“There are no words to describe what has happened and I just can’t understand someone’s mentality.

“When we lost Callum, hundreds of flowers were left and in the summer of 2014, a memorial bench was fitted at the site known as ‘Cal’s tree’.

“People still often sit there and leave candles, cards and teddies, especially on Callum’s anniversary and birthday. We try to keep on top of the maintenance of the area, because it represents Callum.

“He was cremated and I’ve still got him at home, I can’t let him go, and as we don’t have a grave or headstone for Callum as of yet, this is where his friends feel close to him.

“It never gets any easier, it gets harder and it becomes more real. The thought of not seeing him and the thought of spending the rest of my life without him.

“I would like an explanation as to why she did it, I think everybody who has left things there would like an explanation.”

She has since received a letter from the perpetrator, apologising, but not explaining, her actions.

Mrs Flood said the site had been controversial with some after Callum died, but wanted to stress the incident was nothing to do with either of the families involved in the tragedy.