THE mother of a boy killed when he fell through a roof at a North-East cattle market almost 23 years ago has sent her sympathies to a family hit by a strikingly similar tragedy.

Jack Hunter, from Darlington, fell to his death through the asbestos roof at Darlington Auction Mart in August 1992.

His mother, Christine, said the death of Kyle Hull on Sunday, following his fall last Tuesday, brought back memories of her own bereavement.

Loading article content

Mrs Hunter said: "I really feel for the family. I thought something was going to be done after what happened to Jack.

"You can't stop kids being kids, but I did think the market was going to be moved – it was supposedly on the cards when Jack died and it is still being talked about."

Tributes have continued to pour in for 15-year-old Kyle, who was a student at the Education Village.

Groups of teenagers arrived at the mart throughout the day to leave floral tributes and share memories of Kyle, described as popular and a "sound lad" by one youngster.

Among the tributes were cards, flowers and a T-shirt with "RIP Kyle" printed on it.

A Facebook page called RIP Kyle Hull last night had attracted more than 3,000 likes.

It was business as usual at the mart on Monday, but the debate surrounding its future is intensifying.

Councillor Cyndi Hughes, lead member for children and young people at Darlington Borough Council and ward member for Park East, which includes the cattle mart, said its move from its current location is "long overdue".

She said: "My heartfelt condolences go out to Kyle’s family.

"When tragic accidents happen, Darlington is a place where our community rallies round to offer its support and comfort to those affected.

"I very much hope that Kyle’s many friends will now give the family the love and support that they will be needing and that the wider public will enable his family to grieve privately.

"We can’t afford another tragedy like this. The cattle mart’s move out of town is long overdue.”

Police have made no comment about Kyle's death, other than to say a report is being prepared for the Cleveland coroner ahead of an inquest.

Andrew Armstrong, head auctioneer and market manager, said police had asked him not to say anything about the incident at the moment, saying a statement would be released in due course.

But he added: "We feel for the family and will do whatever we can to help them at this desperately sad time."

A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said the agency would not be investigating the incident, as it was not a death in the workplace.

Kyle's friends Jordan Hopps and Callum Hepper, among others, are holding a fundraiser in the teenager's name.

It will be held at 4Motion skate park, from 7pm to 9pm, on Friday (April 17), with proceeds to be split between Kyle's family and the Children's Trust.

Tickets are limited and cost £5 each. Tickets are available from Emma Jaye on 07738-857-519 or at 4 Paddock Lane, Darlington DL2 2BU.

A VETERAN former councillor says another death at Darlington Cattle Mart was “bound to happen”.

Peter Freitag, who is president of the Liberal Democrats in Darlington, also criticised officers at the borough council who he said had attempted to force councillors into a corner having opposed a new cattle mart development on the edge of the town.

Mr Freitag, who has been campaigning to move the cattle mart, in Clifton Road, for 34 years, said: “A death like this is something that was bound to happen. It is very sad and I send my condolences to the family of the boy.

“Unfortunately if you put temptations in people’s path they will often take them.

“Other tragedies could happen as well if nothing is done.”

He added: “When I moved here in 1965 the cattle mart was an important part of the business of the town, but it isn’t anymore.

“At the moment it is just a bloody nuisance and dangerous.”

Mr Freitag said council officers had “not worked hard enough” in facilitating the cattle mart’s move out of town.

He also suggested there was an impasse between the cattle mart owners and the council with the owners hoping the sale of land at the Clifton Road site would fund any new development.

Approval for a new £16m out-of-town cattle mart at Humbleton Farm, off the A68, was first granted in 2009 after councillors overturned planning officers’ recommendations.

But the move has yet to come to fruition and Clifton Road remains in daily use.