Page last updated at 18:08 GMT, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:08 UK

Funeral for suicide leap family

Sam's coffin had been adorned with toys

Hundreds of people gathered for the funeral service of a Wiltshire couple who jumped to their deaths at Beachy Head with their dead disabled son.

Neil Puttick, 34, and his wife Kazumi, 44, leapt from cliffs near Eastbourne, East Sussex, with the body of five-year-old Sam in a rucksack on 1 June.

Sam had died of meningitis three days earlier.

At the funeral at All Saints Church in Westbury, Sam's coffin was adorned with toy tractors and flowers.

The five-year-old had been confined to a wheelchair after a car crash when he was 18 months old.

Kazumi, Sam and Neil Puttick
More than 200 family and friends paid their respects to the Putticks

More than 200 friends and family filled the 14th Century church where the order of service was written in both English and Japanese.

During the service there were hymns, prayers and poems for the family.

After the hymns All Things Bright And Beautiful and Shine Jesus Shine were sung, the song Edelweiss was played from Sam's favourite film The Sound Of Music.

Tributes were paid to the family by Masayo Ward, a Honda work colleague of Mrs Puttick.

"I can still remember the day you told me you were pregnant. Perhaps you didn't need to tell me that - I could tell it by the way you looked.

"After you left work to have Sam, I dropped into your house on the way home. There I found a very proud mother.

"You stood in the newly decorated baby's room. It was beautiful."

'Exceptional people'

Toby Roe was best man at the couple's church blessing.

"It soon became obvious that he and Kazumi were made for each other. Seeing them on their wedding day, they made the most perfect couple and it was clear how very much they loved and cherished one another."

Mr Roe said the couple and their son "were quite simply the bravest, strongest and most committed and exceptional people that I ever had the privilege to know."

An inquest into the family's deaths was opened and adjourned by the Sussex coroner and a full hearing will be held later.

Sam's body was found in the rucksack about 400ft down the cliffs. A second rucksack found nearby was filled with toys.

After the service, pallbearers carried the three coffins from the church to a Japanese song about cherry blossom, called Sakura Sakura.

Outside the church, Rev Jonathan Burke, team rector at All Saints, who led the service, said the community was "deeply saddened" by the Putticks' deaths.

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