Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Hundreds at Casey-Lyanne Kearney funeral in Doncaster

Hundreds of people packed into a small church for the funeral of a girl who was killed in a South Yorkshire park.

Casey-Lyanne Kearney dialled 999 for help after she was stabbed in Elmfield Park, Doncaster, on 14 February, but she died later in hospital.

A private service for the 13-year-old's family and friends was held at St Wilfrid's Church in Cantley.

Hannah Bonser, 26, of Cusworth House, Doncaster, has been charged with Casey-Lyanne's murder.

She is also charged with two counts of possession of a bladed article and is due to appear at Sheffield Crown Court on 10 May.

'Intense pain'

Image caption Casey-Lyanne was on her way to meet a friend when she was stabbed

Many mourners at the funeral wore orange, one of Casey-Lyanne's favourite colours, at her family's request.

Canon John Willett. who led the service, read a tribute from her father Anthony.

It said: "From the moment you were gone I knew life could never be the same again and the pain of losing you would be intense for a long time to come, probably forever.

"I am sure everyone will agree what a wonderful young girl you had become."

Mr Kearney's tribute recalled the fun his daughter had with her family on the beach, swimming, at family barbecues and watching "movies in our pyjamas".

Canon Willett said: "Casey's life has been tragically cut short. We do not know how her life would have developed in the years ahead.

"What's important, however, is that she has lived and she has been loved.

"She will never be forgotten."

School memorial

After the half-hour service, many of Casey-Lyanne's friends were seen crying and holding each other for comfort as they walked out of the churchyard.

Image caption Mourners, including Casey-Lyanne's mother Kerry and sister Sophie, wore her favourite colours

A wake was held at the Styrrup Pub in Rossington, which was decorated in an orange and yellow theme.

A special mass was said at the teenager's school, McAuley Catholic High, to allow staff and pupils who were unable to attend the funeral to remember her.

Head teacher Catherine Brown said there were plans to create a memorial for Casey-Lyanne at the school.

She added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this time.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have sent messages of sympathy to the school.

"Your thoughts and kind words have provided comfort to staff and pupils.

"I would also like to pay tribute to the staff in school whose combination of compassion and professionalism in supporting students and each other has been wonderful."

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