01:01AM, Wednesday 04 April 2012
Today marks the 24th anniversary of the tragic accident in which four Altwood schoolboys lost their lives.
Lee Powell, 15, Andrew Watts, 14, Daniel Howton, 14 and Michael Taylor, 13, of Altwood School, died on a skiing trip on Easter Monday, April 4, 1988.
Yesterday the man who sold cut up parts of their bronze memorial in the Riverside area of Maidenhead appeared in court.
Adam Brettell of Evenlode in Maidenhead has admitted handling stolen goods and appeared at Reading Crown Court.
His sentencing has been delayed so more evidence can be heard by the judge about Brettel's involvement in the crime.
The 31-year-old claims he did not know the bronze had come from the 4ft figure of a boy, his dog and a football.
He was arrested after the memorial, The Companions, was stolen from Ray Mill Island in October.
It had stood untouched on the island for more than 20 years and been seen by thousands of people.
Shock and disgust swept through the community following the theft and a campaign was quickly set up to replace it.
Work is already under way to make a replica of the figure which was originally paid for using public donations and created by Maidenhead artist Eunice Goodman.
Police have recovered parts of the original bronze and made some arrests but to date no one has been charged with the theft itself.
Brettell was caught after he sold some of the metal to a scrap merchant.
He will return to Reading Crown Court on Friday, May 25, when the evidence concerning his involvement will be heard.
He remains on conditional bail.
COMMENT: Did you know the schoolboys? Post your tributes to the boys in the box below.
Top Ten Articles
Police raided addresses in Lillibrooke Crescent, Cox Green, and in Crown Lane, Farnham Royal, at about 7.15am.