Suffolk

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens death: Stabbed boy's funeral attracts hundreds

Carriage, Tavis Spencer-Aitkens funeral
Image caption People lined the route as a horse drawn carriage carried Tavis's coffin to St Augustine's Church

Hundreds of mourners have attended a funeral of a teenage boy who died when he was a stabbed in the heart.

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, 17, was attacked in Packard Avenue, Ipswich, on 2 June.

Prior to his funeral, his coffin was taken on a horse and carriage to St Augustine's Church in Ipswich where the service was held.

An inquest, opened and adjourned earlier, heard how the pathologist had identified "a number of stab wounds" including defensive injuries.

Aristote Yenge, 22, and a 16-year-old boy who cannot be named, have been charged with his murder.

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Media captionTavis Spencer-Aitkens: Funeral for Ipswich stab victim

About 800 people attended the service at the church which had installed extra seating and relay speakers to allow people outside to follow the service.

The funeral service was led by the Reverend Trevor Golding who said the death had "affected so many people".

Tavis's mother Sharon Box and his twin brother Tyler were among hundreds who walked with the cortege from the spot where he was knifed to the church.

In a tribute read to the service Ms Box said her "beautiful" son had been looking forward to going on holiday to Jamaica next year for his and Tyler's 18th birthday.

Tavis's father said: "I'm just so overwhelmed by the support that we've received from the whole of Ipswich, not just Nacton.

"I really shouldn't be here today, it should be my son saying goodbye to me."

Image copyright Alamy
Image caption Floral tributes for Tavis's funeral

Earlier, Suffolk senior coroner Nigel Parsley adjourned the inquest at Ipswich Coroners' Court "in light of the criminal investigation that's currently taking place".

Tavis's family, who described him as a "well-mannered, polite young man", have appealed for information to bring those who took his life to justice.

Tavis's aunt has said he was forced to take part in gang activity and had been pressured to take orders from older people, despite efforts to steer him away from trouble.

The funeral service was followed by a private cremation.

Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Tavis's aunt said he had been forced to take part in gang activity

The two people charged with his murder have been remanded in custody and will reappear at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday.

A total of eight people were arrested by Suffolk Police and questioned in connection with the killing, with two now facing no further action.

Image caption Tavis pictured when he was younger

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