Hundreds say emotional farewell to teenager
More than 500 heartbroken family and friends today bade a moving farewell to a teenage girl stabbed to death in South Yorkshire.
Mourners packed the church and lined the streets for the funeral of 16-year-old Leonne Weeks who was tragically killed last month.
Family, friends and a huge crowd of the Dinnington community followed the hearse down Nursery Road to St Leonard’s Church.
Mourners wiped away tears as the the bright pink coffin was carried into the church.
A truck had to be used to carry the hundreds of sprays of flowers with messages of condolences.
Dozens had to stand outside in the church grounds and others lined the streets listening on speakers as Leonne’s friends spoke to the congregation.
One friend said: “These last few weeks have been a terrible time. It’s been a nightmare.”
A prayer was read out before Calum Scott’s Dancing On My Own was played.
Les Clarke, from the Salvation Army, knew Leonne and spoke to the packed church.
He said: “She won’t be forgotten and she will live on in our hearts and in our memories.
“I had many memories of her and her brother Levi coming into kids’ club and then youth club with sister Millie in tow.
“Leonne was a very strong in her own way and she would stand her ground if she felt something was right.
“Having listened to many people in the past few weeks, she also had a very caring side to her nature and would always have a big smile and would often help people as much as she could. She was growing into a lovely young lady.
“One of the things that has struck me most out of the horrific situation, is the way our community has pulled together and supported the family.
“The family have had messages from around the world from people just wanting to them know that they care and they have love from the everyone.
“We will come together and dance with her and not forgetting the people that have gathered to support and share their love for Leonne’s family.
“I believe through our community that God’s love will shine through and bring comfort to Daz, Paula, Levi and to Millie in the coming days ahead.”
The coffin was carried out along as Bob Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door was played
In a statement released this morning, her family said: “Today, we are laying our beautiful daughter Leonne to rest and celebrating her life with family and friends.
“She is loved and sadly missed by all her family.
“Leonne was a twin and was close to all of her brothers and sisters.
“We are grateful for the ongoing support shown by the community and other groups which have links to the family.”
Leonne was found with multiple stab wounds on a path just off Lordens Hill on Monday, January 16.
Shea Peter Heeley, 18, of Doe Quarry Lane, Dinnington, is charged with murder.