Thieves wreck plans for memorial to Colne car crash victim (25)

Tom Petty
Tom Petty

PLANS to create a new memorial in memory of crash victim Tom Petty have been wrecked by criminals. They stole the tribute planned for Colne Fire Station from a councillor’s car.

Tom, his girlfriend Jessica Foxley and friend Philip Wright died in a tragic road accident in July, 2009.

Tom (25) worked for Pendle Leisure Trust but was also a part-time firefighter at Colne.

And Mr Mick Thompson, an Army veteran, had put together a model fire engine memorial including a brass plaque which made it clear Warrant Officer Thompson had created it “In loving memory of Tom Petty”.

It was due to be presented to Colne’s firefighters at Colne Gala on Saturday, but they had been called out to attend an incident and had to leave Holt House before Coun. Neil Butterworth could present it to them.

Coun. Butterworth was the compere at the Gala’s entertainment show at Holt House playing fields. He was there from 6-30 in the morning to 6-30 at night, and then went to his home in Oak Street, Colne, and fell asleep.

He had a whole series of things in his Daewoo Camaro car and made sure he put them in the boot so they were not visible to potential criminals.

But during the night, thieves forced a door of his car open, and then moved the back seats so they could get into the boot from inside.

They took the 10 model fire engines in memory of Tom, and also took other charity items. That included material for Help for Heroes.

Coun. Butterworth said: “Ironically, I had been talking to Lancashire’s Chief Constable on Thursday about car crime! And then criminals decided to rob my car!

“In the boot, there were sweatshirts and hoodies which raise money for Help for Heroes, and Mick Thompson’s memorial to Tom including 10 model fire engines.

“We were going to present it to the firefighters but they had to leave early and I decided to go along and present it at the fire station on Monday. But it had gone.

“The one thing I really want back is the fire engines because they are a real tribute to Tom. Mick is very upset about it.”

However, two people have already offered Coun. Butterworth alternative fire engine models because of the importance of creating a tribute to Tom.

The crime took place between around 1-30 and 7 a.m. on Sunday, and anyone who witnessed it or has information can contact the police on 01282 425001 or 101.