A family's enduring pain

A GRIEVING family has spoken of their enduring pain at the death of their teenage son and his friend who were mown down by a drug-crazed driver a year ago tomorrow.

A GRIEVING family has spoken of their enduring pain at the death of their teenage son and his friend who were mown down by a drug-crazed driver a year ago tomorrow.

School pupils Dean Bloomfield and Scott Towler, both 15, were killed after being struck by a car driven by Zulfcar Ali as they walked along Fore Hamlet in Ipswich last year.

As the first anniversary of their son's death approaches, Sharon and Dennis Bloomfield have recently been forced to cope with the additional pain of being asked whether they would object to Ali returning to Ipswich following his release from prison.

At his Burrell Road home, Mr Bloomfield, 45, said: "Last thing at night, first thing in the morning it's on your mind. As soon as you wake up.

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"The longer it goes on, the more we get used to not having him here. But we still wake up and cannot believe he is not coming home.

"Two 15-year-old lads died and he (Ali) got ten years. He'll be out in five. At the time I thought the sentence was disgusting.

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"I have no time for him at all. They are already preparing him for coming out. "We have even been asked if we would mind him coming back to Ipswich."

Ali, 33, of Boyton Road, Ipswich, was jailed for ten years at Ipswich Crown Court in December for the manslaughter of Stoke High School pupils Dean and Scott, and two offences of dangerous driving.

During a court hearing it was revealed Ali had ploughed into the teenagers after a blazing row with his wife about his heroin abuse.

Dean and Scott had been walking along Fore Hamlet with Dean's girlfriend Janay Porter when Ali crashed into them and drove on without stopping.

Ali hit several other vehicles before finally coming to an end in Key Street, when the car skewed across the road and smashed into a wall.

Scott died soon after the crash at lunchtime on May 30 and Dean's family decided to turn off his life support machine the following day.

Following the tragedy, hundreds of floral tributes and messages of condolence were placed along Fore Hamlet to mark the spot where the teenagers were killed.

Mr Bloomfield admitted the family was still unable to travel on the road where their son's life was cut short, and probably never would.

"We went up just after it happened just to read some of the messages. After that we didn't go anymore. If I take my son to work I go the other way. People don't realise it makes us cringe to go down that road," he said.

Dean's brother Daniel, 19, and sisters Emma, 11, and Maria, 22, are gradually learning to cope with the loss while Mrs Bloomfield, 43, has returned to her job as a care assistant following a ten-month break.

Mr Bloomfield said the family would spend the first anniversary of his death quietly.

"We have our ups and downs. We don't stay in, we go out a lot," he said.

"The children are doing OK. They have just got on with their lives. We don't really talk about it.

"We still set out a plate for him. We put six out and realise there are only five.

"We've had lots of support from the family. His girlfriend has kept in touch with our daughter. We miss him more and more each day."

Robin Merriam, assistant chief probation officer with Suffolk's Probation Service, said: "We have a legal responsibility to make contact with victims families and if they want, to keep them informed of a prisoner's progress through their sentence and to ask these families their views on a prisoner's release.

"Those views get passed on to the parole board. We work very hard to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of any victim."

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