Mum’s warning after Calderdale teen’s horror injury

Benjamin Goga, 14, who was seriously injured after playing at the derelict Old Lane Mill, Halifax
Benjamin Goga, 14, who was seriously injured after playing at the derelict Old Lane Mill, Halifax

This shocking image shows the horrific injury a teenage boy was left with after a brick fell from a derelict mill and hit him in the face.

Benjamin Goga, 14, from Luddenden Foot, had gone to meet friends at Old Lane Mill, also known as the Canal Dye Works, in Boothtown, Halifax, when the brick tumbled down.

He was left needing major surgery at Leeds General Infirmary for a fractured eye, a fractured skull and a double bleed on the brain. Doctors are still not sure if Benjamin’s vision will be permanently affected and his family were told if the brick had hit his head in a different place, he could have died.

His mum Gemma Passmore, 32, says she is aware Benjamin, a pupil at Lightcliffe Academy and huge Halifax Town FC fan, should not have been there and now wants to send a grave message to other parents to make sure doesn’t happen again.

She said: “People need to realise that these places are so dangerous. I wouldn’t want any other parent getting a phone call like I did.

“I could not even recognise him from the side. When they took the dressings off, you could see his skull.”

Miss Passmore urged parents to make their children aware that although they may see it as fun, it’s one mistake which could ultimately kill them.

“I could have been in a very different position,” she said. “I could have been attending my son’s funeral.”

She is now calling for something to be done about the “hotspot” building to prevent young people getting in.

In recent months, there has been a significant increase in the number of calls to police about youngsters entering the site. Some have been spotted on the roof, which is around 100ft up.  

PC Anna Hall said: “Old Lane Mill is actually privately owned, so anyone entering the mill or the site is trespassing, but this isn’t about criminalising young people. This is a warning to them and their families. This building and the grounds around it are not safe. This isn’t a place to play, hang out or meet your friends. You could seriously cause yourself serious injury, or pay the ultimate price with your life. Do you know where your son or daughter is, and what they are doing? How would you feel if you knew they were on the roof of a structure and one misplaced footstep could see them plunge over 100ft to the ground. The consequences could be catastrophic.”