Leicester

Hinckley deaths: Funeral held for Adam and Matthew Stokes

Sally Stokes (centre) arriving for the funeral of her sons Matthew and Adam at St Mary's Church, Hinckley, Leicestershire. Image copyright PA
Image caption The boys' mother Sally Stokes, who was injured during the incident, praised the community for their support

More than 100 mourners, including young school friends, have attended the funeral of two brothers found dead after a domestic disturbance.

Adam Stokes, 11, and his brother Matthew, five, died at their home in Leicestershire along with their father David Stokes.

No arrests have been made and police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

The service was at St Mary's Church in Hinckley, where the boys lived.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption David Stokes and his sons Adam and Matthew died at their home in Welwyn Road, Hinckley

It is almost eight months since the boys died on 2 November, and their bereaved mother, Sally Stokes, said: "This day has been long awaited."

Mr Stokes, 43, died from a stab wound but Leicestershire Police said the cause of the boys' deaths had not yet been "conclusively ascertained".

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The curate of St Mary's, Rev Angela Tarry, read a message on behalf of the boys' mother.

"Sally and her family would like to thank her friends, Adam and Matthew's friends, and the whole community for all uniting together and showing such support at what has and continues to be the most difficult time of their lives," she said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The brothers' coffins were decorated with the things they loved in life

Mrs Stokes, who was injured during the incident, also praised the medical staff who treated her, her counsellor, the police, the church and the boys' school.

'Miss you Mummy'

Preaching the sermon, Rev John Whittaker said of Matthew: "He loved his mum and was very affectionate to her.

"'Miss you Mummy', he would cry out, as she left the back door of the house to put the washing out."

Image copyright Stokes family
Image caption Matthew Stokes was "very affectionate" to his mother, mourners were told

Rachel Ayres, head teacher of St Mary's Church of England primary school, paid tribute to the boys and said fellow pupils were still "struggling to come to terms" with their deaths.

"They played a huge part in the life of St Mary's and had many friends," Mrs Ayres said.

"Whilst we know the boys are gone, we are remembering with fondness those happy memories which will live in our hearts forever."

Image copyright Stokes family
Image caption During the service, friends and family heard how Adam Stokes "enjoyed life" and his "growing independence"

Richard Spalding, whose son was Adam's close friend, has set up an online fundraising campaign.

He hopes to establish a memorial for the community, with any remaining funds to be used to assist the family.

A spokesman for the Rutland and North Leicestershire coroner said a review was due to take place in October and a full inquest into the three deaths would be held after that.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Balloons were released in memory of the boys after the funeral
Image caption Wreathes and messages were left on the steps of the church before the funeral

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