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Justin: We will never forget; Special assembly for boy run down in road.

Byline: By Neil Elkes and Adam Smith

CLASSMATES of tragic hit-and-run teenager Justin Murphy will hold a special assembly and prayers in his memory when they go back to school next week.

His friends return to Cardinal Wiseman Roman Catholic Technology College, in Kingstanding, on Wednesday for the first time since Justin was killed.

It was on Friday July 21, after leaving school for the summer break, that the 14-year-old was run down on nearby Hurlingham Road.

Head teacher Martin Jones, in a message sent to pupils and parents, has promised a fitting tribute to the popular boy beginning with a special assembly and prayers.

He knows how hard his pupils were hit emotionally by Justin's death and wants to ensure they know the school will never forget him.

Mr Jones said: "This terrible incident was witnessed by a number of people including some of our pupils.

"I was supervising the pupils' dismissal and by chance arrived at the scene shortly after it happened. Dreadful incidents such as this happen in life from time to time that can be impossible to understand and accept.

"Justin was an extremely popular pupil, a young man any parent would be proud to call their son.

"The outpouring of grief and compassion from the local community clearly reflected this."

Mr Jones said the school will now turn its attention to remembering the youngster.

"As a school community, of which Justin was a highly valued member, we will be celebrating his life in an appropriate manner once the new term starts," he added.

Meanwhile, in her first full interview since the accident, Justin's mother has thanked Birmingham Mail readers and the people of Kingstanding for their touching messages of support.

She said: "So many people have done so many things to try to help my family and it has been overwhelming, to tell you the truth.

"There is no way I could thank everyone individually because the number runs into thousands and there is a lot of things I'm probably not even aware of."

There have been a string of memorial events such as charity football matches, and internet message boards, including the Birmingham Mail's, have been flooded with tributes from friends.

More than 1,500 mourners lined the streets and attended the emotional funeral at Christ the King Church, Kingstanding, on August 3.

Teresa added: "I can't really believe he has died. I still think he is with his friends in Kingstanding somewhere and will come bounding in through the door."

Teresa and Justin's dad Justin Chilton had an immediate tribute to Justin that will last forever - tattoos of their beloved son.

"We decided to get tattoos because we just wanted him with us all the time.

"The people at Logans Cave on the Hawthorn Road were fantastic and did not even charge us.

"Like the rest of Kingstanding they have been very kind, it has meant a lot to know so many people are thinking of us."

Birmingham man Darren Bardsley, 32, of no fixed address, has been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged with causing Justin's death by dangerous driving.

CAPTION(S):

TREASURED MEMORIES... schoolboy Justin Murphy, from Kingstanding, whose hit-and-run death shocked the whole city.' TRIBUTE... head Martin Jones.' LOVING...parents Teresa Murphy and Justin Chilton, above, and friends pay tribute, right.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:553
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