A mum has spoken of her anguish after a shrine dedicated to the memory of her son was torched by cruel vandals.
 
Great Harwood teenager Jake Boswell died on April 20 this year. His body was found in woodlands at Clayton Fields, off Alan Ramsbottom Way.

Tributes including flowers, mementoes and messages were left at the site where 18-year-old Jake died.

But now that has been ruined after vandals poured petrol on it and set it alight.

Scorch marks have destroyed many of the hand-written tributes to Jake which were written on a white wall at the site in his memory.

His mum Debbie Maddock, 42, of St Hubert’s Road said:

“Somebody texted me and told me the wall had been damaged - my daughter and I just burst into tears, we couldn’t believe somebody had been so cruel.

“I felt like it was a personal attack on our family because I have his ashes indoors and there's no grave for anyone to go to.

“My children and his friends look at where he died as a grave and that’s where they took all the mementoes.

“This is not an accident, it has been deliberately done as they have had to use something flammable on it, and the flames were more than 7ft high.

“There was a picture that my five-year-old daughter Jamie-Lee had done for Jake and it was in a case to withstand all weather - it told him that she missed him and that she loved him.

“I want answers as I feel I am back to April 20 again. I want to know why somebody would do this. All I want is to be left alone to grieve - it has scared me.

“The shrine is a beautiful place and the children have already said they want to go down there and repaint it and set it up again. This is no different than going to a church and setting fire to a gravestone.”

At the time of his death, his  mum said the Blackburn College student had previously experienced troubled times, but had managed to turn his life around.

More than 300 people attended his funeral at St Bartholomew’s Church - and the attack has provoked outrage on Facebook.

As well as his mum, Jake was also the brother of Zoe, Leah, Chelsea, Jamie-Lee, Mackenzie and Harrison and the grandson of Diane and nephew of Karen and Alan.