Mum told to clear memorial for little Owen

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A mum has been told the roadside tribute of flowers and cards left for her son close to where he was killed in a hit and run , will have to be removed.

Owen Wightman was only six-years-old when he was killed by speeding driver Peter Renshaw, 23, in June 2011.

Since his death, his grieving family and friends have turned the spot on Fishpond Lane, in Chapelthorpe, into a memorial for little Owen.

But this weekend his mum, Joanne Wightman, received a letter from the landowner asking her to remove the items.

Mrs Wightman, 33, of Heeley Road, said: “The letter reads as though he doesn’t want to have to ask me this. It says “I just want to add that this letter is not my doing”.

“It mentions that the council’s guidelines for roadside memorials are three-months after a death.

“I don’t understand why anyone would do this. It’s a place where his friends can come and remember him and it also reminds people to slow down because of what happened.”

Since she received the warning, her friends and family have been planning to set up a petition.

Donna Broome, Owen’s second cousin, said: “It’s disgusting. People have said it’s an eyesore but it’s not at all. It’s awful someone could do this.”

Ava Boardman, a close friend of the family, added: “Just because Joanne has been told to stop putting things here, it doesn’t mean we can’t. We haven’t had any letters and we’re going to carry on.”

Owen had been playing with his best friend, Mason Boardman not far from his home on June 18, 2011.

As he crossed Fishpond Lane he was struck by Peter Renshaw who was driving at almost double the speed limit.

Student Renshaw, of Emley, was jailed for five years and three months in June 2012.

The Express was unable to contact landowner Mr Wilson for a comment.

Coun Monica Graham said she was working with the Wightman family and Mr Wilson to resolve it in the most sensitive way possible.