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Mum's tribute after Chilham parish councillor and former soldier Paul Hardisty killed in crash

A heartbroken mum says she is still struggling to come to terms with her son's death two years after he was killed in a road accident.

Paul Hardisty was a passenger in a Renault Kadjar which hit a tree on the A252 at Chilham near Dane Street in March 2017.

The Chilham parish councillor, 49, and former soldier was killed instantly at the scene and now his mum Christine Burns says she is determined to keep his memory alive.

Christine Burns with her son Paul Hardisty during happier times
Christine Burns with her son Paul Hardisty during happier times

The 70-year-old said she had been unable to "move on".

She said: “My son’s death was very tragic and it was very hard for my family.

“He was well respected in the village and a very lovely man.”

Ms Burns wearing a locket containing Paul's ashes
Ms Burns wearing a locket containing Paul's ashes

Mr Hardisty served on the parish council after moving to Chilham from Ashford three years before the accident.

A friend who was driving the car at the time of the crash escaped with minor injuries.

A Gulf War veteran, Mr Hardisty spent 16 years as an army junior non-commissioned officer and nine years as a police radio resourcer with Kent Police.

Despite suffering with his own health conditions, he was a member of the Royal British Legion, a scout leader and a disability champion.

In 2012, he was chosen to carry the Paralympic torch flame for his campaign work for veterans, particularly disabled rights, pensions and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Hardisty carried the Paralympic torch in 2012
Mr Hardisty carried the Paralympic torch in 2012

Ms Burns, who lives in Deptford in south-east London, added: “He would do anything for anybody and he always put himself last.

“Paul had a heart of gold and I just miss him so much. I’m just keeping his memory alive.

“A mother never lets go of their son even when they are dead.”

Paul Hardisty was killed in a car accident in March 2017
Paul Hardisty was killed in a car accident in March 2017

Last year, Kent Council Council (KCC) announced plans to improve the safety of the A252.

The road - which links Charing and Chilham - is considered to be an accident blackspot following a string of serious and fatal crashes.

Improvements including crash barriers, new road markings and rumble strips on the edge of the road are set to be installed this year after £2.1 million was secured by the authority from the Department for Transport.


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