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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 16:09 GMT
Memorial roses planted for Sally
Sally Geeson
Miss Geeson went missing after a New Year's Eve party
Friends of murdered Cambridge student Sally Geeson planted roses in her memory on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old's housemates and school friends planted two rose bushes on the campus at Anglia Polytechnic University, where she was a student.

They were called "Sally's Rose" and "Remember Me".

The flowers were planted after more than 250 family and friends attended a memorial service at the Zion Baptist Church in the city.

The roses, which will bear pink, orange and red flowers, were planted outside her former hall of residence, Swinhoe, with a plaque saying "Sally Geeson, Our Friend Forever, 2002-2005."

'Celebration of her life'

Sally's housemate Janet O'Dea, who helped to organise the service, said: "She was my best friend and worth every effort.

"I thought it would be nice to have a celebration instead of mourning a death. Sally would have wanted it."

Lindsay Rowlands, another of Sally's housemates, said: "We just wanted to do something for Sally from her friends as at the funeral the focus was rightly on her family.

"We wanted to plant the roses anyway and it seemed fitting that we had a service to mark the occasion. It was upbeat and very nice and uplifting."

Miss Geeson, from Southend in Essex, went missing in Cambridge after seeing the New Year in at the Avery pub in Regent Street.

'A wonderful person'

Her body was found in woods near the American Military Cemetery at Madingley on Friday, 7 January.

She had been sexually assaulted and murdered by soldier David Atkinson, who committed suicide before he could be arrested.

The memorial service was led by the university chaplain Nigel Cooper.

He said: "Everyone says nice things about someone who has died and I'm used to that, but what everyone is saying about Sally is much more than that. She was clearly a wonderful person."

Sally's funeral in Southend on 21 January was attended by more than 600 mourners.

Sally's life 'cruelly cut short'
21 Jan 05 |  Cambridgeshire
Sally may get posthumous degree
17 Jan 05 |  Cambridgeshire
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11 Jan 05 |  Cambridgeshire
Body identified as missing Sally
08 Jan 05 |  Cambridgeshire

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