Bristol

Becky Watts funeral 'celebration of her life'

Becky Watts' funeral
Image caption A white carriage containing Becky's coffin was pulled by white horses

The funeral of teenager Becky Watts, who was found dead after going missing earlier this year, has taken place.

The 16-year-old was suffocated and her body parts were found at a house in the Barton Hill area of Bristol on 2 March.

Her family said the service, which took place at St Ambrose Church in Whitehall, would be an occasion to celebrate Becky's life.

Stepbrother Nathan Matthews, 28, from Warmley, is charged with her murder. He is yet to enter a plea.

BBC Points West's Fiona Lamdin, speaking from outside the church, said over 200 people lined the street for the funeral procession.

White horses wearing pink feathers pulled a white carriage, decorated with pink roses, containing Becky's white coffin.

The coffin was decorated with pink roses and painted with a blue ribbon and was carried inside St Ambrose Church by her family, including her father, Darren Galsworthy.

Image caption Dozens of people lined the streets for the funeral procession

"No parent, relative or friend would expect to lose a loved one at such a tender age," her family said.

"Becky... had so much to look forward to and love to share with all that were close and dear to her.

"Her death has touched the hearts of so many people.

"It is because of your kind support that we know the day will be a fitting tribute to a much-loved daughter, grand-daughter, sister, niece and friend."

Image caption Becky Watts' coffin was carried into the church by her family, including her father, Darren Galsworthy

BBC News Online's Ian Parker, who also went to the church, said a single teddy bear had been attached to the church gate and people lined the streets, most wearing black, carrying pink roses.

Speaking inside the church, the Reverend David James told the congregation: "Becky has been restored into the heart of the community where she belongs.

"It is not a goodbye."

A tribute from Mr Galsworthy, read by Mr James, detailed his "shy" daughter's first days at school and how she was bullied at secondary school.

"But [after] a lot of care, we were able to get our Becky back," Mr James added.

The congregation and the dozens of people gathered outside the church also heard how Becky loved animals, music and going to the cinema.

"Becky left a void and touched the heart of the nation. Just look what your short life has achieved," Mr James added.

The first hymn was Lord of The Dance.

After the funeral, there was applause when a white dove was released and Becky's coffin was loaded back into the carriage.

The service was followed by a private interment for Becky's family and friends at Avon View Cemetery.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hundreds of people attended the funeral, with many having to stand outside the church
Image caption There were many floral tributes to Becky Watts

At the scene: Ian Parker, BBC News

A few weeks ago, one of Becky's friends said they wanted to give her the send off she deserved - and that is what she got today.

Hundreds lined the quiet street in the Whitehall area of Bristol where most wore black. Everybody was holding a pink rose.

At 11:00 BST the church bells stopped ringing and the street fell silent. The white carriage carrying Becky's coffin arrived at the church pulled by four white horses.

The Reverend David James said the church could seat 350 but there were many standing and dozens more outside listening on a loudspeaker.

Image caption Amongst the floral tributes was one from her nan and grandad which included pink roses

Becky, 16, from Bristol, was reported missing on 19 February.

On Friday police revealed post-mortem tests showed she had been suffocated.

Her stepbrother's girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21, has been charged with perverting the course of justice.

Four other defendants, Jaydene Parsons, 23, James Ireland, 23, and Karl and Donovan Demetrius, both 29, have been charged with assisting an offender.

Image caption Becky Watts's family said her death "has touched the hearts of so many people"

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