Talks underway for permanent memorial for Belper train death teen

Mitchell Rodgers.
Mitchell Rodgers.

Talks are underway for a permanent memorial at Belper skate park following the death of a popular teenager.

Youngsters hope to install a lasting memorial at the facility in tribute to Mitchell Rodgers, who died after being hit by a train.

The news was revealed after Amber Valley Borough Council removed graffiti tributes from the skate park which were left by young mourners following the 16-year-old’s death.

The borough council insists the tributes were removed as part of a regular repaint of the skate park, situated behind Morrisons supermarket in Chapel Street.

Councillor John Nelson, leader of Belper Town Council, said: “Discussions are taking place about a permanent memorial to Mitchell.

“There needs to be something appropriate there.”

A borough council spokesman said members of Belper’s Drop Inn youth centre hope the memorial would take the form of a mural painted on the side of the ramps.

Keen skateboarder Mitchell died near Belper railway station on the evening of Saturday, March 28.

In a statement, the borough council said: “Following a recent tragic death, the skate park received some graffiti in memorial.

“The council would like to confirm that the repaint is a regular event and not as a result of the graffiti received in memorial.

“Repairing is done to ensure the safety of the skate park remains to a high standard, protecting the surfaces so they do not become too slippery.”

The borough council issued an online statement last Wednesday inviting people to take pictures of the graffiti tributes ahead of Friday’s repaint.

Mitchell, of Bentfield Road, Nether Heage, died as a result of head injuries and had to be formally identified by tattoos on his fingers, Derby coroners’ court heard earlier this month during the opening into his inquest.

The teenager, who was a pupil at John Flamsteed Community School in Denby, was being followed by police officers immediately before he died.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.

Witnesses or anyone with information should contact the IPCC on 0800 096 907 or email belper_inv@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk