Liverpool

'Violet' service for death crash girl Violet-Grace Youens

Violet Grace Youens Image copyright Mereyside Police
Image caption Violet-Grace Youens was hit as she walked with her grandmother

Family and friends of a four-year-old girl who died after she was knocked down as she walked with her grandmother have worn violet for her funeral.

Mourners for Violet-Grace Youens, from St Helens, were asked to wear the colour for the event.

Grandmother Angela French who was seriously injured in the 24 March crash attended the service in a wheelchair.

Two men charged in connection with the crash are due before Liverpool Crown Court on 26 April.

Violet-Grace died in her mother's arms in hospital last month, days after she and her grandmother were struck by a car on a pavement on Prescot Road.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Violet-Grace Youens' coffin was brought to the church in a horse-drawn carriage

The service was held in St Julie's Roman Catholic Church, Eccleston.

The coffin was brought to the church in a horse-drawn carriage before being carried into the building by Violet-Grace's parents, Rebecca and Glenn, and other family members.

Mrs Youens had violet-dyed hair and wore a dress of the same colour, while Mr Youens wore a purple tie.

'Party tribute'

A party to celebrate Violet-Grace's life was being held after the service, with bouncy castles, face painting, princesses and superheroes.

Parish priest Canon Thomas Neylon said: "She won the affection of those she came into contact with during her short life and has stirred the hearts of many more who have heard of her because of her death."

Aidan McAteer, 23, who has been charged with causing the death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and stealing a car, is due to appear in a preliminary hearing at Liverpool Crown Court.

Dean Brennan, 27, will also appear, charged with assisting an offender, theft of a motor vehicle and the aggravating offence of allowing oneself to be carried within a stolen vehicle.