Grieving parents demand 'justice'

PUBLISHED: 05:42 14 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:52 24 May 2010

A DEVASTATED couple have hit out at the justice system after months of delays to the court case over the death of their son

A DEVASTATED couple have hit out at the justice system after months of delays to the court case over the death of their son.Anthony and Angela Close, of Orchard Close, East Brent, say that since their son Mark died in July last year they have been 'existing and not living.'The couple were woken up in the early hours of July 15 after 32-year-old Mark was found dead at the side of the road.The father-of-two from Weston had been walking home from a night out with friends in Berrow when he died.A man was charged with death by dangerous driving but the trial has been postponed four times and many other hearings were cancelled.Mr Close, aged 57, said: "We have had enough. My boy died 15 months ago."We get ourselves all psyched up ready to go to court and then it's cancelled. We're not coping, we're just existing."We're speaking out not only for us, but for other people that this is going to happen to later. We want to highlight how long this case has taken to come to court and what it's doing to us as a family."Mr and Mrs Close said that neither of them could eat for two months after Mark's death. Mr Close is on tranquillisers to help him get through the day and his wife is constantly in tears.Mrs Close, 52, said: "Our lives have stopped. It's any parent's worst nightmare to lose a child in the prime of their life. We will never get over it."We go to his grave every day to visit. But my daughter can't because she just can't bear to go up there, she's so upset."Mr Close added: "We didn't even celebrate Christmas and New Year last year and the way it's going we don't think the trial will be done by the end of this year."Mark worked as a welder in Weston and doted on his two children, aged four and nine.John Baden-Daintree, of Burroughs Day Solicitors, which is representing Mr and Mrs Close, said: "Delays in the criminal legal process inevitably add to the distress of the family. It is therefore very unfortunate that the criminal trial has been postponed again. "Mr and Mrs Close are under unimaginable pressure and we all hope for a conclusion soon to enable them to move on with the grieving process."* Pictured: Angela and Antony Close, whose son Mark was found dead at the side of a road.

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