A heartbroken mam has fulfilled her son’s wish to have a memorial bench placed at a South Shields coastal spot he loved to visit.
Yesterday marked three years to the day since Daniel Smith disappeared, with the last ping of his mobile phone placing him at Marsden seafront.
Eight weeks later, following a huge search led by his devastated mam Cath Leach and his family, his body was finally recovered from the sea.
But while his official death was a date in May, his broken-hearted mum marks the anniversary of the former Whitburn Comprehensive School pupil’s death on the day he went missing.
The 49-year-old, from Livingstone Place, South Shields, was joined by her partner Micky Bramptom, parents Sylvia and Jeff Pescod and her sister Louise, to mark the third anniversary of the death of her son, who at the time was living in Hendon, Sunderland.
Together, they visited a spot known locally as Jacky’s Beach, where they have had a memorial plaque fitted to a bench overlooking the sea,
Everyday I feel numb - it’s the only way I can describe myself as feeling. But I carry on for the sake of my two daughters and grandchildren.Catherine Leach
Listening to Daniel’s favourite song, I’ll be Missing You, by Puff Daddy, they released balloons in his memory.
Cath said: “I still struggle every day. It still doesn’t feel like it has happened to me.
“He always used to say to me, ‘mam if anything was to happen to me, I’d love to have a bench at the coast’. It’s taken me two years, but I’ve finally got it for him.
“Every day I feel numb - it’s the only way I can describe myself as feeling. But I carry on for the sake of my two daughters and grandchildren.
“I’m heartbroken - but having this bench has given me a little bit of closure, as it’s something he wanted.”