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Rainham family's vigil for hit-and-run teen

PUBLISHED: 09:00 16 October 2010

SERIOUSLY INJURED: James Larkin

SERIOUSLY INJURED: James Larkin

Archant

THE devastated family of a teen who suffered horrific head injuries in a hit-and-run incident in Romford has urged the culprit to come forward - two weeks on.

James Larkin, 19, was struck with such force that he was knocked 15ft from his shoes, as he made his way home from a night out in Romford town centre, at around 4am on Saturday October 2.

Passing Pcs found the stricken boy lying in Rom Valley Way, Romford, just metres from the entrance of Queen’s Hospital.

Police believe he had been listening to his music player when he was hit.

James, from Stanhope Road, Rainham, underwent a nine-hour operation on his smashed face in the Royal London Hospital, in east London, on Thursday (October 14).

His injuries include broken cheekbones and eye sockets, multiple fractures to his jaw and nose, as well damage to his teeth.

He also has breaks to his arm, vertebrae and pelvis.

Dad Paul Larkin said the family - including mum Denise, 44, and brother Sean, 18 - have been keeping a bedside vigil.

“He does not look too good,” Paul, a former City worker said. “It is going to take a long time for the swelling to go down. He has a lot of healing to do.

“I can’t believe someone would leave a young lad in that condition. I have been going through all the possibilities: maybe they were drink driving, or maybe they didn’t have any insurance. I just want whoever’s done this to give themselves up.”

Tragically, Paul normally collects James after a night out, but the teenager had lost his phone some hours earlier and had decided to make his way home alone.

Denise, a writer, said: “Whoever did this did not even call an ambulance; they just left James to die. We just want answers. I can’t understand how a young person’s night of fun can turn into a such nightmare.”

The family have spent the last five years living in Cyprus and returned to Havering in February to be close to ailing relatives.

James had been eager to come home, Paul said, and had recently enrolled in a course in engineering, known as a C-Tech. He had also been looking for work in retail.

“The doctors said it was too early to know exactly what the damage is,” Paul added. “We just want him to get better; we want his face fixed, but we know his life is gong to be on hold for a long time.”

Anyone with information is urged to call Jenny Gunny at the traffic criminal justice unit on: 0207 230 0527.

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