Liverpool unites for funeral of murdered schoolgirl Ava White

Ava White’s funeral was held at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

Ava White’s coffin arrives at the cathedral for her funeral. Image: Twitter

Hundreds of mourners in Liverpool have paid their respects to a 12-year-old girl who was stabbed to death following a Christmas lights switch-on in the city.

Ava White died after she was knifed in the city centre on 25 November.

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She was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after the attack at about 20:30, but later died from “catastrophic injuries”, police said.

Photographs of the schoolgirl covered her coffin, which was brought to her funeral service at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral in a white horse-drawn carriage on Thursday morning.

Ava White

Applause broke out from the congregation as the coffin was brought into the church, and again later when the short, emotional service ended.

Ava’s father Robert Martin, her mother Leanne White and her sister Mia were present, along with other family members.

Her fellow pupils from Notre Dame Catholic College were also in attendance, as were some from her former school, Trinity RC Primary.

Many of those attending wore bright colours and some had hoodies bearing a photograph of the youngster.

Following Ava’s death, her father Robert said the family were “completely devastated and heartbroken”.

In a statement released by Merseyside Police, he said: “We would like to say thank you to everybody for their ongoing support during this devastating time.

“Thank you to every one of you for your kind messages and donations.

“As Ava’s family we are completely devastated and heartbroken by what has happened and we ask that you respect our privacy at this time and allow us to grieve as a family.”

Hundreds of people paid tribute to her at a vigil earlier this month, and flowers and balloons were left in the city centre in her memory.

At the opening of her inquest into her death, senior coroner for Liverpool Andre Rebello said she was stabbed in the neck.

A 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with her murder and is due to appear in court for a plea and trial preparation hearing in February.