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Last Updated:  Friday, 21 February, 2003, 15:01 GMT
Hundreds mourn teen shooting victim
Charlene Ellis' funeral
Charlene's final journey was watched by hundreds
Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral of a teenager shot dead following a New Year party in Birmingham.

Charlene Ellis' body was taken on its final journey to the Canon Street Memorial Baptist Church in Handsworth in a horse-drawn hearse.

Hundreds of people stood in silence as the hearse slowly made its way through the streets of Handsworth followed by two coaches containing the 18-year-old's relatives and friends.

Charlene and her college friend Letisha Shakespeare, 17, were shot dead on 2 January after stepping out of a party at a hairdressing salon in the Aston area of the city to get some fresh air.

Her twin, Sophie, was badly injured in the attack and 17-year-old cousin, Cheryl Shaw, suffered gunshot wounds to her hand.

Sophie Ellis
Charlene's twin, Sophie, led mourners

Letisha's funeral was held on what would have been her 18th birthday - Valentine's Day.

On Friday, Charlene's twin led the family of mourners into the church.

The service, which began at noon, was relayed outside by loudspeaker. The congregation, among them the Bishop of Birmingham and community leaders, were asked to pray for Charlene's family.

Father's tribute

The crowd listened in silence as Charlene's mother, Beverley Ellis, read an emotional poem in memory of her daughter.

Family member Norma Ellis also read a tribute to the art student which was written by her father Arthur Ellis.

During the service, which lasted for more than two hours, the Bishop of Birmingham, the Right Reverend John Sentamu, appealed to the people responsible for Charlene's death to give themselves up or at least come and speak to him.

Charlene was laid to rest in a private burial service on Friday afternoon.



The BBC's Catherine Mackie
"Sophie Ellis, Charlene's twin sister, led the family of mourners into the church"

In pictures: Charlene Ellis' funeral
21 Feb 03 |  Photo Gallery

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