York & North Yorkshire

Katie Rough funeral: Service at York Minster

Paul and Alison Rough with the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu Image copyright John Giles/PA
Image caption Katie Rough's family were greeted by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu

More than 300 people attended the York Minster funeral of seven-year-old Katie Rough, who was killed last month.

Katie was found with serious injuries on a playing field in Woodthorpe, in the city, on 9 January and died later in hospital.

The service was led by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

Dozens more gathered at the entrance to the minster as the cortege arrived. Katie's coffin was carried in a white horse-drawn hearse.

The coffin was decorated with characters from the Dr Seuss children's books which had been a particular favourite of Katie.

Her mother Alison had asked for the minster to be "packed to the rafters" for the service.

'Daddy's girl'

The family had asked mourners to dress formally "with a twist of colour" and orange, pink, red or rainbow scarves and colourful ties were worn by the congregation.

Image caption Katie Rough was found injured on a playing field in the Woodthorpe area of the city
Image copyright Danny Lawson/PA
Image caption The coffin was decorated with Dr Seuss characters

An emotional tribute was paid to Katie by her uncle who described her as a "smart, fun, beautiful child".

Katie had selective mutism, but Mr Rough said it did not stop her from having fun.

"Her family were her world," he said.

"She loved her mum and dad but she was definitely described as a daddy's girl."

Katie's coffin rested overnight at the Archbishop of York's official residence, Bishopthorpe Palace, on the outskirts of the city.

Dr Sentamu said he had sat with her overnight in his chapel so she would not be alone.

"I found myself there from eight 'til seven in the morning," he said.

Image copyright John Giles/PA
Image caption Katie Rough's coffin was carried in a white horse-drawn hearse to York Minster

Following the service, mourners applauded as the coffin was driven away to private family service of committal.

On the order of service, a message from the family thanked people for their support.

"The family have asked that the collection today be given in aid of Smira (Selective Mutism Information & Research Association)," it added.

More than 1,300 people have donated money to an online appeal for Katie's family, raising more than £25,000.

The family thanked all those who contributed and said a lasting memorial would be established for their daughter.

A 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named, has appeared in court charged with Katie's murder.

She is due before Leeds Crown Court on Thursday.

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