FAMILY and friends preparing for the anniversary of a teenager’s death are distraught after sentimental items were removed from a roadside memorial.
Photos and other mementoes of motorcyclist Jamie Fortune, 18, have been taken from Kingston Road, Taunton, where he died following a collision with a car on July 1 last year.
His grieving father, John, says it is not the first time the public site around a tree has been targeted but he has no idea who is responsible.
“It’s upsetting for all Jamie’s family and friends,” said Mr Fortune.
“These people are a bit sick in the head to take things from a memorial.
“It’s despicable and cowardly. If someone had said they disapproved, we could have spoken to them, but nobody’s said anything to us.”
Other items removed included a friend’s crash helmet, candles, a Pingu doll “with a lot of connection to Jamie”, cogs from his bike, a scarf and flowers.
“It’s not the first time something like this has happened,” said Mr Fortune.
“Last year a woman was seen taking all the flowers away in a bin liner, even the artificial ones.
“Now someone has come along and taken everything – we’ve no idea when or why.”
Family and friends have been back to the site and planted some flowers and replaced the candles.
“Even now someone’s been up there and trampled on some of the flowers and taken a £30 candle holder within 24 hours,” said Mr Fortune.
“It’s so distasteful. It doesn’t make sense.
“Jamie was very popular and this has upset a lot of people. Many people have been going there regularly to remember him.
“If someone knows who did this, we’d like them to come forward.”
Jamie’s friend Francesca Drew said: “It’s really upsetting. We don’t have a clue who’s doing this.”
Spokesmen at Somerset County and Taunton Deane Councils said neither authority had removed the items.