Hundreds gathered to pay their respects to 'beautiful' teen Leonne Weeks
The 16-year-old’s body was found on a towpath in Dinnington, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, 20 minutes after her mother reported her missing.
Today the streets were lined with mourners paying their respects in a ceremony that featured floral tributes.
The procession walked slowly from her home to St Leonard’s Church as a white horse-drawn carriage carried Leonne’s pink coffin – with her name and a number of love hearts inscribed into the side – to her final resting place.
Mourners lined the streets to pay their respects in a ceremony that featured floral tributes
A line of young girls carried a wreath with the words, ‘Best Friend’ behind the coffin as people embraced one another while one woman carried a single rose.
A lorry packed with flowers was then delivered to the church including one bearing the inscription ‘Dad’s Princess’ alongside a picture of the tragic teen.
Among the mourners was Leonne’s mother Paula Oldfield, her father Darran Weeks, twin brother Levi and sister Millie.
The 16-year-old’s body was found on a towpath in Dinnington, after her mother reported her missing
Les Clarke, from the Salvation Army, knew Leonne through his youth club work and spoke to the congregation.
She won’t be forgotten and she will live on in our hearts and in our memories
He said: “She won’t be forgotten and she will live on in our hearts and in our memories.
“Leonne was a very strong in her own way and she would stand her ground if she felt something was right.
Her devastated father wiped away tears as he carried his daughter’s coffin out of the Church to the strains of Bob Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door.
The procession walked slowly from her home to St Leonard’s Church
One handwritten note on flowers laid on the open-backed lorry read: “Fly high our beautiful sister. RIP you will always be in our hearts and we love you very much forever and always.
“Love all your brothers and sisters.”
Another note read: “Fly high angel, heaven has gained a princess” while a third family tribute read: “RIP Leonne, words cannot describe how I feel.
a white horse-drawn carriage carried Leonne’s pink coffin to her final resting place
“Today will be the hardest day of my life.
“Sleep tight my beautiful princess. Love from your brother.”
Before the service Leonne’s family released a statement in tribute to the hair and beauty college student.
One set of flowers bearing the inscription ‘Dad’s Princess’ alongside a picture of the tragic teen
It read: “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.”
Shea Heeley, 18, from Dinnington has been charged with the teenager’s murder and is due to appear before Sheffield Crown Court on February 17.