BRANDON MAGGS’ mother, Tanja, yesterday issued a statement describing her heartbreak and urging drivers to slow down.

She said: “I firstly wish to offer my thanks to everyone who helped Brandon immediately after the accident who offered first aid, the ambulance and air ambulance services, the doctors and nurses at the hospital and everyone involved in the investigation of the collision.

“This was a needless collision, which was caused because James Burns drove on the night with no regard to the rules of the road, or how his driving instructor taught him.

“I do not consider it to be an accident – if Burns had driven at the speed that is so clearly stated by the law for good reason, Brandon would be here today and not in the graveyard.

“The fact that this is James Burns’ first issue with the law, or that he is only 19 years old, is of no importance to me.

“How serious does a person’s first offence have to be?

“Burns will now have time to reflect on the consequences of his actions, and I hope that this sends a message out to his peers and other young men of his age who think it is ‘cool’ to drive in excess of the speed limit, beyond their capabilities and who treat roads in built-up areas such as housing estates as a racetrack, with no thought for children playing in the area.

“In a short time, however, Burns will be able to rebuild his life, while I as a mother know that I will go to the grave a broken woman.

“I am not looking for James Burns to ever fully understand how I am feeling, as I would not wish that on anyone.

“I will never forget the moment that I was told that Brandon had been in an accident. A kind lady at the roadside had been giving first aid. She told me an ambulance was coming, but I knew he was dead. I felt the worst feelings that a parent could possibly feel – I was completely powerless to help him, and unable to make things better.

“The next hours that followed were the worst hours of my life while the hospital staff did everything they could for Brandon, and when the nurse told me he had passed away. I wanted to go with him.

“I will never forget these feelings – they will haunt me forever. I have been torn apart inside and broken into pieces. Six months on, I am coming to terms with the fact that for the rest of my life I will be trying to hold these pieces together for the sake of my daughter, Angel.

“Brandon was very protective of Angel, who he loved more than anyone, if the truth be known.

“Brandon was mature beyond his years, and loyal and honest, and very brave.

“But under the brave exterior, he was sensitive and very kind. I remember he said to me ‘When I get a girlfriend, mam, I will always take care of you as well’.”

“I now only have my imagination as to how Brandon would have turned out to be. I am sure he would have been a good man who I would have had pride in.

“I cry for Brandon every day, for all of the things he will miss out on.

“He will never go to university, or fall in love and get married. He will never hold a child of his own or experience independence or freedom from earning a living. He sometimes spoke of wanting to work as a scaffolder offshore like his dad or of joining the Army and being a soldier.

“He said, ‘I want to protect people, but I don’t want to lose my life’.

“I cry that these dreams of a nine-year-old boy will never become a reality, because of one person taking all of that away by driving dangerously.”