How can anybody be so horrid?'
PUBLISHED: 16:38 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:08 23 August 2010
VANDALS have destroyed the memorial to a 17-year-old who died when his moped collided with a lorry. Jamie Gooda, of Wilberforce Way, Gravesend, was killed in the crash on the old A2 at Hever Court Road, in June. Friends and relatives of the popular teen
VANDALS have destroyed the memorial to a 17-year-old who died when his moped collided with a lorry.
Jamie Gooda, of Wilberforce Way, Gravesend, was killed in the crash on the old A2 at Hever Court Road, in June.
Friends and relatives of the popular teenager had created a memorial at the spot he died, laying wreaths, banners, flowers and written tributes.
But on Monday, the victim's brother Dan visited the memorial to find it had been set on fire, leaving messages and banners destroyed.
The burnt remains of the fence where the memorial had been placed lay on the ground. His trademark Nike baseball cap has also vanished.
His heartbroken mother Sharon Gooda, 42, seeing the desecrated memorial for the first time on Tuesday said: "It is unbelievable that anyone can think of doing something like this. Can anybody be that horrid?
"It is somewhere for his friends to go to feel close to him, to share their memories of him, and someone has taken that away from us.
"I have his ashes at home, so I have Jamie, but this memorial was for everyone else. I can't believe that it has all gone.
"I can't let it get to me, we all have to be strong and we have to fight to return it to what it was before. We will one day have a permanent memorial, a place where people can come to remember him."
Dan Gooda, 20, added: "I am devastated.
"A lot of people had left flowers, poems and messages to Jamie, and I can't believe anybody would want to destroy it."
Friends who heard about the incident immediately started making replacement banners for the memorial, and brought them down on Tuesday evening along with flowers and photographs.
Mr Gooda's girlfriend Kennedy Osborne, 14, from Bean, has made a new banner for the memorial.
She said: "I don't know what I would do if I found the people that did this.
"I had put many messages up and laid flowers here every day. I was really angry when I first heard about this. No matter how much you hate someone, can you ever do something like this?"
Her mother Donna, 43, said: "It makes me feel sick. Jamie was like part of my family. It is just awful.
"Kennedy is absolutely gutted, she has been crying holding Jamie's jumper since she heard about this. How someone can do this is beyond me, but we will get it back to how it was before."
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of the former Meopham School pupil in June, and more than 50 mopeds followed his hearse to the service at St Georges Church, Gravesend.
Nicknamed Lil Gooda he was never seen without his trademark Nike baseball cap. He had worked at High Cross MOT Ltd, in Highcross Road, Southfleet for a year.
An Internet Facebook page dedicated to the popular teenager features hundreds of written tributes.