Tears were shed and prayers said when a hearse carrying a murder victim to her funeral stopped at the spot where she was brutally murdered to give a shocked community the chance to pay their respects and remember her.
Dimitrina Borisova, aged 46, was attacked on Blackstock Road, Gleadless Valley, in February as residents, local workers and passers-by looked on in horror.
Yesterday some of those who witnessed the murder and rushed to Dimitrina’s aid as she lay dying in the street returned to the place where tragedy struck.
With their heads bowed, they stood in silence as funeral director Michael Fogg walked in front of the hearse before it stopped close to the place where the mum-of-two took her last breaths.
One woman moved by the death of the Bulgarian woman, who had moved to Britain for a better life, presented a bouquet of flowers to the funeral director on behalf of staff at the local Co-op store.
It was placed in the hearse alongside three other floral tributes laid on top of Dimitrina’s coffin.
Another bouquet was then carefully placed on the pavement close to the murder scene, with a card simply saying ‘RIP Dimitrina’, on behalf of the funeral director and his staff knowing that the woman’s grieving relatives had been unable to make the trip abroad for the service.
Prayers were said by Rev Jonathan Haigh, of the Gleadless Valley Methodist Church - outside which Dimitrina was stabbed - along with Rev David Middleton, from the nearby Holy Cross church.
Sandra Dixon, 60, who was working in a charity shop close to the murder scene on the day of the attack, wept as she paid her respects.
“I heard a commotion and saw a body laid in the middle of the road. Because I know first aid I rushed over to try to help but we knew there was nothing that could be done - it was absolutely horrific and something I will never get over,” she said.
Rev Haigh said: “The community rallied together to show love and care for Dimitrina in her last moments and for each other afterwards.”