Family's anger after memorial for 22-year-old who died in Torquay cliff fall removed

Christopher Fulford who died after falling from cliffs in Torquay and memorial left by his family and later removed. BPM Media
Credit: BPM Media

The family of a man who died in a cliff fall say they are furious that memorial items left at the location where he died have been removed.

On the night of his death Christopher Fulford left a party to return home so his nan would not worry about him.

He rode his bike, which was later found left by a fence at Walls Hill in Babbacombe.

But the next day - on September 3 last year - his body was found at the bottom of a cliff.

Following his death, his family put up a memorial at Walls Hill where he died.

They later removed the many floral tributes left for him after being asked to do so by Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, but left a small statue of a dog and plaque for Christopher.

Now they have been left shocked after finding out in an email it had been removed.

The dog statue was later damaged left in tribute to Christopher was later damaged Credit: BPM Media

Christopher's sister Rebecca said: "The only thing that was removed was the dog. It was discretely placed out of view and has been smashed.

"This has brought distress to our family as we should be allowed something to remember our Chris.

"We had removed all the flowers from the fence, as requested, yet we aren’t allowed to have a plaque and memorial dog up there.

"Our memorial and plaque was securely fitted to the ground and it isn't an eyesore.

"We decided the dog would be a good tribute because Chris loved animals. We have a family dog called Barney who he loved very much.

"It has caused great distress and upset to our family, and we feel we are being excluded from being able to have a memorial or something to remember our Chris by.

"Friends and family visited Walls Hill to commemorate Chris’s life, a place of peace, however it has become a distressing place to visit, to see emptiness and no memorial to remember him.

"I think there should be more concern about the dangers up at the site. Having a memorial there will more than likely deter people from crossing the fence and will show the dangers involved, which as a whole the family feel it is of great importance to build the awarenessof this."

Christopher's family chose the dog statue because of his love of animals Credit: BPM Media

A spokesperson for Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust said: "Unfortunately, no permission was sort from the trust prior to installing Chris Fulford’s memorial at Walls Hill. We have offered the family an alternative memorial bench close to this location.

"We have made several requests for the memorial to be removed over the last six months, before eventually notifying the family that the trust would be removing it.

"Regrettably, the dog memorial was already broken before collection. It is our intention to remove all remaining memorial attached to the fence at Walls Hill and signage is due to be installed shortly in regards to this.

"We offer our deepest condolences to the family, but regrettably can’t grant permission for a memorial at Walls Hill because of its conservation status and special designation."