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We just can’t make sense of it’

PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 14:48 25 August 2010

DEVASTATED: Brother Danny (right) and friend Mark Richards.

DEVASTATED: Brother Danny (right) and friend Mark Richards.

TRADERS have paid tribute to the decent young man they knew who was killed while celebrating his birthday.

TRADERS have paid tribute to the "decent young man" they knew who was killed while celebrating his birthday.

Mark Richards, 36, was working with Jimmy's dad in his shoe repair shop in Sidcup High Street, last Saturday when the father took a fateful call revealing his son had been hurt.

The tragedy has rocked the community with residents, traders and shoppers leaving flowers and words of comfort at the shop.

Mr Richards said: "I have two daughters and three boys and they're good kids. But to have an ounce of the decency that Jimmy had would make me a proud man.

"He was never too shy to give his old man a cuddle and a kiss, they had a very strong bond. I've witnessed it with them all.

"The family is remarkable, you just don't see it very often.

"Barry is one of my best mates and I had to witness the hurt and pain.

"I live in fear because you can see that this can happen to anyone."

The Mizen family, parents Margaret and Barry and their surviving eight children, pulled together after the news of the 16-year-old's death showing dignity in the face of sorrow.

On Tuesday, Jimmy's eldest brother Danny, 30, reopened up the family business three days after the tragedy.

Other traders along Sidcup High Street were equally appalled by Jimmy Mizen's untimely death.

Kaz Ural, proprietor of Francesca's cafe, said: "He used to come in here sometimes to get his sandwiches.

"He was a really good boy. He wasn't the type to hang around street corners. He was a well behaved boy who clearly had morals."

Barbra Damiral, manager of Templeton jewellers, said: "We're right across the road so we know him and his family well. There are no words really. He was a lovely boy, always smiling and happy. He was full of bounce. It made you happy to go there.

"It is so senseless, it's such a waste. I just can't make sense of it."

The family are strong supporters of Sidcup Rugby Club, for whom Jimmy played as second row in the under-16s, and Danny was touring with in Spain when he heard the terrible news.

Club chairman Phil West said parents Barry and Margaret encouraged him to hold a cricket-rugby event as normal on Sunday, despite being "numbed" by their loss. Mr West said: "They are a very strong couple and a prime example of how parents should be these days."

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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