Tragic Tia Sharp is finally laid to rest at emotional funeral
CHILDREN'S cries pierced the air during an emotional farewell procession for murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp ahead of her funeral this morning.
Hundreds of fellow students and teachers lined the streets and wept as they paid their respects to the "popular and well liked" student.
A horse-drawn carriage carried the 12-year-old's coffin with grieving family members close behind.
Despite reports Tia's grandmother - Christine Sharp - had been told to stay away after her partner Stuart Hazell was charged with the schoolgirl's murder, she travelled with the tearful family in funeral cars following close behind Tia's body.
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The procession drove past Tia's former school, Raynes Park High, illuminating the street with a brilliant pink - one of the colours chosen by the family for the remembrance's theme. A private service at Merton and Sutton Joint Ceremony then began shortly after which is due to finish within the hour.
Amanda Allen, 45, who has twin boys at the school was among hundreds who lined the street.
She said: "She touched everybody's hearts. I wanted to come down here to show my support. Everybody has been touched by it which I think is shown by the amount of people here."
Raynes Park High head teacher Philip Wheatley said: "The thoughts of all the staff and pupils at school are with Tia's family and friends.
"Tia was a popular student and well liked and will be a great loss to the school."