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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 March 2006, 14:07 GMT
Boy, 14, charged with Joe murder
Joe Geeling
Joe was last seen making the short walk home from school
A boy aged 14 has been charged with murdering 11-year-old Joe Geeling, whose body was discovered in a park.

Joe's body was found in Whitehead Park, Bury, Greater Manchester, on Thursday. A post-mortem examination has revealed he died of multiple stab wounds.

Joe, who had cystic fibrosis, was last seen on Wednesday on his way home from Bury's St Gabriel's RC High School.

The 14-year-old will appear at the town's magistrates' court on Monday, police said.

Family statement

The teenager was charged late on Saturday having been questioned since his arrest two days earlier.

Joe's body was removed from the park on Friday evening and taken to a mortuary. It was formally identified on Saturday.

A statement from his parents Tom and Gwen, his sisters Kelly and Danielle, and brothers James and Sean, was issued after the identification.

Joe Geeling's parents
Joe had a huge circle of family and friends, all of whom are equally devastated and like us they will never ever be quite the same again

They paid tribute to their "little angel" and described how he did not let the fact he had cystic fibrosis - a condition affecting the lungs - hold him back.

The statement, read by Mr Geeling, said: "None of you have enough time to hear how much he meant to us. How do you condense 11 years of fun and love and heartache, worries and accomplishments etc... into a few words?

"Without exaggeration I can say that Joe was one of those special people that if you ever met him and spent even five minutes talking to him, he would leave an impression on you that you would remember and usually with fondness."

Later, Mr Geeling told reporters: "He was my best mate, he loved his mum to death and you could not wish for a better son.

"I will never forget him."

Church services

St Gabriel's RC High School was a 15-minute walk from Joe's home in Devon Street.

Head teacher Eddie Robinson said on Saturday the death of the year seven pupil had "shocked and shaken" the whole school.

"Our thoughts and prayers are very much with his family at this difficult time," he said.

Fr Anthony Lawton
Fr Lawton said Joe's death had shocked the whole community

"Joe was a lovely, well-mannered boy who is going to be greatly missed by all of his teachers, friends and fellow pupils here at St Gabriel's."

Prayers were being said for Joe during special services at churches in Bury on Sunday.

They included St Marie's, in Bury town centre, where Joe had been baptised.

His family were at St Marie's on Sunday where Fr Anthony Lawton said Mass.

Fr Lawton said Joe's death had shocked the whole community.

"Since news of his disappearance was announced on Wednesday, our school and parish communities have been comforted greatly by the prayers and support of everybody in the borough," he added.

He said prayers were being offered during all Masses throughout the town this weekend for Joe and his family and for all those affected by his death.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
The scenes outside Joe Geeling's school



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