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Brian Crookes - 28/6/40 - 7/5/92

Brian Crookes was born at Kinsley near Pontefract where he was to live all his life. He attended local schools, leaving Kinsley Secondary Modern School at 15 years of age with no formal qualifications.

Young Brian started work at Nostell Priory as a gardener, before going to work at Hemsworth Colliery. He enjoyed a pint at his local pub and earned a reputation as an excellent darts player winning numerous trophies. Brian loved his work and was soon to meet local girl Iris Mary Jowitt. On 27th March 1965 they married.

Brian and Iris went on to have 3 sons, Brian, Stephen and Paul. Their family became complete with the arrival of their 4th child, their only daughter Jane. Ever the family man Brian worked hard to provide for his family until ill health and major surgery forced him to retire. Brian and Iris's children, who by now had reached adulthood had in turn presented them with 4 beautiful grandchildren, all of whom who idolised their granddad.

Though Brian had been forced to retire, he still enjoyed going down to his allotment where at various times he had kept hens, rabbits and pigs. Many a time he would pile all the grandchildren into his wheelbarrow and push them up to his allotment where they would revel in "helping" Grandad.

The 7th of May 1992 was the day that was to change many lives forever.

Brian went out to buy a newspaper and walk his dog Shep, a border collie. As he left home with his son Paul he told Iris "I'll not be long, I'm coming straight back in case our Jane needs me". Jane, their only daughter was expecting her first baby that day. Those were the last words that Iris was to hear Brian speak, and the last time she was to see him alive. He chattered with son Paul as they walked down the road and then said their goodbyes as they went their separate ways.

A car that had been stolen some hours earlier by juvenile car thieves mounted the pavement, narrowly missed a pregnant woman with two small children, hit Shep, killing the dog before smashing into Brian. Brian was hurled through the trees of a nearby churchyard, landing in the churchyard with a branch of a tree embedded in his side. He suffered massive injuries and was rushed to the Pontefract Infirmary where he did not survive surgery.

His killers- The driver of the stolen vehicle, who was 15 years old was "driving" him self and his mates to school. He served just 3 months in a young persons institute for killing Brian, his dog Shep and 9 other offences taken into consideration. The 2 passengers were both fined £300 each.

Brian's family are serving a lifetime of grief and 3 new Grandchildren were never to even meet their granddad, nor he them.