September 23 2014 Latest news:
Mark Shales, Reporter
Monday, March 10, 2014
The sister-in-law of a hit-and-run victim has spoken out for the first time about the devastating impact his death has had upon the family.
Christopher Ritchie, 52, of Station Road, Chadwell Heath, was run over and killed by a car on the pavement in Forest Drive, close to Manor Park railway station, while walking to work at Manor Park Cemetery and Crematorium last November.
Now Patricia Moses, 44, younger sister of his widowed wife Sharon, has opened up about the void left by “Chrissie”.
“It’s devastated the whole family,” she said. “Everything’s been destroyed by a low-life scumbag and I will never be able to come to terms with it.”
Christopher left behind two sons, marine biologist student Ryan, 21, and eight-year-old James, plus daughter Rebecca, who turns 16 at the end of the month.
Patricia described the moment the children were told about the death of the father as “gut-wrenching”.
“Looking at them I feel like part of me is dead,” she said. “You just can’t comprehend the loss we’ve all suffered.
“Rebecca was especially close to her dad and had been looking forward to planning her 16th party with him. It’s awful.”
Patricia had known Chris since the age of 14, and described him as “a brother, not a brother-in-law”.
Chris and widow Sharon, who is yet to return to work and has dropped three-and-a-half stone in weight, would have celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in August.
“He lived for his family and was extremely dedicated to his work – a devoted husband and father,” she said. “A real diamond. One in a million.
“There was so much love in that marriage. They were absolutely besotted and never spent a day apart in 25 years.”
Police enquiries continue but Patricia wants to see the driver, thought to have been seen leaving the scene of the collision on foot, put behind bars for life.
She said: “If you take a life you deserve to give a life and it makes me physically sick that’s he’s still out there.”
Patricia’s six-year-old son Ethan descried the despair felt by the loss of his Uncle Chris: “It’s really sad, Uncle Chris was really funny and used to play with me lots, but now he’s gone.”