RESIDENTS today told how the death of schoolboy Simon Martin more than two decades ago still casts a shadow over their community.
As revealed in the Echo, Steven Grieveson, 42, was yesterday charged with the murder of the 14-year-old in May 1990.
Twenty two years on, people living in the close-knit community of Southwick, said it still bears the scars of that day. Many did not want to give their name to the Echo.
One woman, who has lived in Amy Street – near to Simon’s home – for 26 years, said: “We all went looking for him. He was 14 so at first we just thought he was rebelling and wouldn’t come home.
“I remember his dad saw him in a garage in Roker at one point and said to him, you know, ‘come home, son.’
“He had a mattress under his arm, I think. The next thing we knew they had found him, dead.
“He was just like any other teenage boy, canny, but a bit rebellious. I remember seeing him play out from being little with the other kids round here.”
Neighbours say there are many of them who remember Simon. One woman, from Frank Street, said: “Yes, I remember him. It’s just awful that it has taken all this time for someone to be charged.”
Another lady from Carley Road said: “My husband was involved in the investigation. He was arrested because they thought the killer had the same pair of trainers.”
Friends who grew up with Simon, who would now be 36, said he had a lovely smile.
His nana, who has sinced died, also lived in Amy Street, and his parents still live in the same house where Simon grew up.
Those who know the family say it is high time the case came to a close.
“It’s shocking, just awful,” said one lady.
“We just hope the family get justice.”