Mourners say farewell to tragic Casey Kearney
Weeping schoolgirls and grieving family members gathered to say farewell to the South Yorkshire teenager taken from them at the start of her life.
The streets near the tiny church of St Wilfrid at Cantley fell silent as mourners from all over Doncaster filed into the pews to remember Casey-Lyanne Kearney, the 13-year-old girl stabbed to death in Elmfield Park.
Orange – Casey’s favourite colour – was the shade of most people’s clothing in line with her family’s wishes.
Many of the men wore orange ties and the women and girls wore orange tops, scarves, jewellery and accessories.
Schoolchildren, many wearing their uniforms, sobbed as they arrived.
The hearse drew to a halt on Church Lane, and was filled with orange and yellow carnations. One floral bouquet spelled out ‘Casey’ and the coffin was accompanied by a white teddy bear.
Male members of Casey’s family, including her grandfather, were among the pall bearers who carried the coffin into St Wilfrid’s.
The 30-minute service was led by the vicar of Cantley, the Rev Canon John Willett, who told mourners including Casey’s younger sister Sophie: “It would be impossible to exaggerate the horror felt at what happened to Casey, or the sympathy we feel for the family. Casey’s life has been tragically cut short. She will never be forgotten.”
The vicar said Casey spent most of her childhood in Cantley before moving to Rossington a couple of years ago, and attended the same schools – St Peter’s Primary and McAuley Catholic High – as her mother, Kerry Day.
Casey was a keen animal lover and had ‘such a lot of friends and was always on the phone and messaging them’.
The vicar also read a tribute from Casey’s father, Anthony, in which he said: “From the moment we knew you were gone, I knew life could never be the same again and the pain would be so intense forever.”
The coffin was carried out of the church before the cortege made its way to Rose Hill cemetery for a private burial.
Afterwards they made their way to The Styrrup pub in Rossington, which had also been decorated in an orange theme.
A special mass was said at McAuley Catholic High School to allow staff and pupils who were unable to attend the funeral to remember Casey.
Headteacher Catherine Brown said there were plans to create a memorial to her at the school.
She added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this time.”
Casey died on St Valentine’s Day hours after suffering a stab wound to the abdomen as she walked through Elmfield Park to meet a friend from school during half-term.
Hannah Bonser, aged 26, of Cusworth House, St James Street, is remanded in custody awaiting trial on charges of murdering Casey and being in possession of two bladed articles.