The funeral of Becky Watts took place today (Fri) – as the mother of the man accused of murdering her put on a united front with the tragic teen’s dad.
Becky‘s father Darren Galsworthy was side by side with his wife Anjie – the mum of her stepbrother Nathan Matthews.
Matthews, 21, is due to stand trial later this year for her murder after her dismembered body parts were found following a large scale police search.
Darren, 51, and Anjie, 49, joined mourners who flocked to a funeral service at St Ambrose Church, St George, Bristol – ahead of a private burial.
Members of the public filled an area outside the church to watch the service on a live feed being broadcast.
Hundreds of mourners threw pink roses onto the white coffin as it neared the church, led by a cortege with floral and written tributes.
Becky‘s coffin was pulled by four grey horses and was carried in by her father and other family members, accompanied by Leona Lewis’ “Footprints in the Sand”.
The hour long service was held by Reverend David James who said it was a celebration of the college student’s life.
Speaking before the ceremony, he said: “We’ve worked very closely with the family, we’ve seen the heart of the grieving process as its gone on.
“As we know the whole community have been involved. Now is the time to lay Becky to rest. We want to do that as as celebration and that’s the theme of the service today.
“We’re very grateful she’s returned to us here so we can give her the honour and dignity she deserves.”
During the service Becky‘s father, Darren paid tribute to his daughter in a statement read by the vicar.
The emotional tribute read: “When Becky started school she was so shy she wouldn’t let Anjie leave her there on her own, so she ended up being an unpaid teaching assistant for four years.
“We remember her coming home one afternoon very upset, she was crying. We asked her what was wrong. She told us no one would play with her because she had the wrong doll.
“Obviously we went out straight away to make sure she had the right doll in time for the next day.
“She returned home all smiles and she told us about a new friend she had made. This friendship lasted all the way through primary school.
“In year six she became a mentor for younger children. Although she was still very shy she would watch out for people on their own.
“If she saw anyone on their own she would encourage them to join in with the mentoring group.
“She couldn’t make friends herself but she didn’t want younger children to feel like they were alone.
“We’ve had letters from those children’s parents thanking us for all our big-hearted girl did for them.
“Secondary school was where our hell began. She was bullied about her weight and as a result we almost lost her to anorexia.
“From a lot of care from us and hospital education, we got her back.
“While in hospital education she met Courtney and Adam, they became known as the three amigos.
“She was the happiest we had seen her in a long time. Gradually building up confidence, she started going out more and more.
“She also met another friend and then hooked up with her boyfriend, Luke.
“She loved going to the cinema and going out. You guys helped her in a way we couldn’t and we are so grateful.
“Becky has left a huge void in our lives and touched the hearts of the nation. We all love you so much Becky.
“As you look down from heaven look what you’ve achieved. Not bad for a shy girl hey Becks? Rest in peace angel of Bristol.”
During the service a number of hymns were sung, including Lord of the Dance, for “a young girl who loved dance and was often encouraged to turn down her music”.
Newton Faulkner’s “Dream Catch Me When I Fall” was played to allowed reflection time.
Following a number of prayers and the lighting of candles, Becky‘s grandfather, John Galsworthy, 72, sang “Somewhere”, from West Side Story.
Becky‘s coffin was carried out of the church by her boyfriend, Luke Oberhansli, 17, as onlookers clapped and a single white dove was released.
Matthews faces a single count of murder, while his girlfriend, Shauna Hoare, 21, is accused of perverting the court of justice.
Jaydene Parsons, 23, James Ireland, 23, and Karl and Donovan Demetrius, both 29, are all accused of assisting an offender.
Tragic Becky disappeared from her father’s home in St George, Bristol, on Thurs Feb 19.
Darren reported her missing the following afternoon and police issued their first public appeal three days after she was last seen.
Avon and Somerset Police launched a huge search operation involving six police teams and Becky‘s distraught family made emotional public appeals for her to return home.
In the following days forensics officers searched a number of properties, including her family home.
The search then moved to a house in Southmead, before officers searched a house in Cotton Mill Lane in Barton Hill, Bristol.
Hoare and Phillips were arrested on Saturday February 28 and were charged on Wednesday March 4.
He was charged with murder, she with attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Further arrests were made on Monday March 2 after Becky‘s body parts were discovered in a nearby house in Barton Court.
Following Becky‘s death more than #11,000 was raised towards her funeral by members of the public.