The devastated family of a Market Harborough teenager tragically killed in a car crash have blasted “vile” vandals who have destroyed his roadside tribute.
They have hit out after vandals wrecked their heartfelt memorial to Ryan Tealby after the 17-year-old former Welland Park Academy student died in the cmash at Foxton in November 2019.
Ryan’s cousin Sophie Jelley, 28, told the Harborough Mail: “The people who did this are vile – it’s such a despicable, sick thing to do.
“It’s left my Aunt Tina, Ryan’s mum, in floods of tears – she’s absolutely distraught.
“Who would want to carry out such a disgusting shocking attack on a tribute to a brilliant young man who was loved by everyone?
“It just beggars belief.”
Sophie, who lives in Market Harborough, said they suspect the culprits struck the family’s poignant shrine at the side of Langton Road, Foxton, on Thursday.
“A family friend drove past at about 7pm on Wednesday night and it was OK then.
“But when she went past it on Thursday the memorial was in the ditch,” said Sophie, a mum-of-three.
“A sign bearing Ryan’s name was thrown down, along with flowers and a wreath, and a little plaque had been snapped.
“There was blood on it as well – suggesting that the attackers had been injured doing it.
“My aunt has gone along and she’s doing her best to restore it to how it was.
“But we’ll have to replace the sign.
“It’s obvious that this memorial was set up for Ryan and this attack was carried out deliberately,” said Sophie.
“It does make you wonder about the mindsets and mentalities of the people who did this.
“And it’s come as a massive blow to my Aunt Tina, especially coming just three months after the first anniversary of the accident.
“She had already very sadly lost one child, her beloved daughter Becky, back in 2010 before Ryan was killed.
“And her youngest son Joe, who’s still at school, has been struggling and is obviously really badly missing his big brother.
“Our family and Ryan’s mates go along to the roadside memorial all the time in all weathers, come rain and wind even, because they feel close to him there,” said Sophie.
“They smoke a cigarette and enjoy a beer and feel a real connection to Ryan.
“Ryan was so full of life.
“He had so many mates – they used to turn up at my Aunt’s in their millions and play their music in the garden.
“Ryan loved life and he had so much more to give – he left us all far too soon.
“People across Harborough donated over £5,000 to help pay for his funeral and that just shows how popular and how well-loved he was.
“We all still feel his accident every day as if it was yesterday.
“And this incident has just piled on the agony for my poor Aunt, who was left heartbroken by his death.
“The twisted people who did this should be totally ashamed of themselves because they have shown a complete lack of respect both for Ryan and his family and friends.
“They know that they done this.
“And I just hope that deep down in the cold light of day they will feel some sense of shame and remorse for the terrible thing that they have done.”