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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Thousands attend Jessie funeral
Jessie's mother (r) and grandmother
Jessie's mother and grandmother led a procession to the service
Thousands of mourners gathered in Manchester for the funeral of murdered teenager Jessie James.

The 15-year-old's white coffin, laid in a horse-drawn carriage, was led by a lone piper to a marquee in Broadfield Park, Moss Side.

Family, friends and other mourners took part in a "life celebration service", held just yards from where he was shot dead on 9 September.

Police hope the service will encourage the community to help find his killer.

The coffin was carried into the marquee by six of Jessie's friends and was followed by his mother, Barbara Reid, 47, and sister Rosemary, 28.

Hundreds of Jessie's school friends at Manchester Academy, many in school uniform, and some wearing "RIP Jessie" T-shirts filed in to hear tributes and a eulogy from Mrs Reid.

Barbara Reid and Jessie's grandmother
Jessie's blood is on the hands of the murderer, his accomplices, his family and their friends, who do nothing or say nothing
Barbara Reid

The service was led by the local Seventh Day Adventist Church pastor, Michael Simpson.

Addressing the assembled crowd Mr Simpson said: "It's a time to remember that we live in a very volatile community."

Referring to Jessie, he said: "We don't want to forget you because your pain is still there."

During the eulogy, Mrs Reid told the crowd how she had watched her son develop into a handsome young man, describing him as a "charmer and explorer".

And she told the mourners that her son's death was still affecting the community.

"I believe Jessie came into this world for a purpose. Sadly someone played God and took his life.

"Jessie's death has highlighted the awareness of the gun culture... which is ever present in the community from which Jessie was gunned down in cold blood."

She added: "Jessie's blood is on the hands of the murderer, his accomplices, his family and their friends, who do nothing or say nothing.

"You are equally guilty of this brutal crime."

Later, his coffin was taken by horse-drawn carriage to Manchester's Southern Cemetery for burial, led by 15 of Jessie's friends on mountain bikes.

Jessie James
Help us catch Jessie's killers and put an end to this madness
Det Supt Tony Cook
Greater Manchester Police

A further short ceremony was conducted by Mr Simpson at Jessie's graveside.

Jessie, a pupil at the Manchester Academy, was shot three times with a semi-automatic handgun in Raby Street.

Several witnesses to the murder have yet to come forward, including three teenage girls who were standing near the West Indian Sports and Social Club at the time of the killing.

Jessie, of Greame Street, Moss Side, was a popular youngster described as "respectful and polite".

Detectives said he had nothing to do with gang culture and was simply in the "wrong place at the wrong time".

Det Supt Tony Cook, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "If you're covering for a murderer, ask yourself how you'll feel when another young victim gets shot and killed.

"Help us catch Jessie's killer and put an end to this madness."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Jessie James' mother speaks at his funeral service



SEE ALSO
Funeral set for murdered teenager
14 Oct 06 |  Manchester
Teenager's murder inquiry probed
25 Sep 06 |  Manchester
Boy's death a 'watershed moment'
11 Sep 06 |  Manchester
Killing surprises few in Moss Side
11 Sep 06 |  Manchester
Boy 'executed' in city shooting
10 Sep 06 |  Manchester

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