Michael James Bradford, killed 12 January 2001
There were three witnesses who saw the driver go through a red light. But he was never charged with causing Michael’s death. He was also disqualified and had no insurance. The driver, his passenger and two friends lied in their statements and at the inquest, and still nothing was done. Therefore we decided to find out why no one was taking these crimes seriously.
We found ourselves having to take an intensive course on the laws surrounding road death and injury. The more we went into them, the more bewildered and angry we became. I had to read 180 pages of medical notes, the post-mortem report and the witness statements because I had to know what I was talking about when we approached various agencies with our concerns and complaints.
Till the day I die the words from these reports will be in my head. I know in minute detail how my son died.
There were 27 points of concern, one of which was the investigation into the speed. Michael was thrown 25ft and his injuries were horrific. The police said the driver was doing 20mph, but the neurosurgeon said it was more likely to be 40mph because of the enormity and severity of Michael’s injuries.
When we raised this issue we were told that the speed was calculated by ‘mean’ from the witness assumptions of speed. We therefore argued that the speed should have been recorded as inconclusive.
We spent almost two years trying to get satisfactory answers to our questions, but never did. We did manage to get the driver to court, not for killing Michael, but for licence offences. We were told by the CPS that they can indefinitely adjourn the licence offences but they couldn’t keep the charge of killing Michael by negligent driving indefinitely adjourned, because it would be against the driver’s human rights. But where are my son’s and our rights?
What was once a normal family has been changed forever. Michael still lives in every room of our home, his pictures, his belongings, his presence and our memories. I look out the window and see Michael as a young boy playing with friends. I see him playing football in the park. I see the water fights in the summer, the laughter, the squabbles, the little boy turning into a young man.
The devastating pain we feel when we realise that there can never be any new memories. There is a huge gaping wound in our family that will be there forever. And what really hurts is that knowing if this driver had just obeyed the law, he would still be with us now."
Christine Bradford, Michael's mother.
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