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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 January 2006, 18:09 GMT
Farewell for Thai murder victim
Family and friends follow the coffin of Katherine Horton
Family and friends follow the coffin of Katherine Horton into the church
The funeral service of student Katherine Horton, who was murdered in Thailand on New Year's Day, has taken place in her home city of Cardiff.

The 21-year-old Reading University student was on holiday with a friend in Koh Samui when she was attacked.

Two Thai fishermen who admitted her rape and murder are due to be sentenced on Wednesday.

More than 200 mourners gathered at St Isan's Church, Llanishen, for the service on Tuesday afternoon.

I have only slipped away into the next room, I am I and you are you, whatever we were to each other that we are still
Lines from the poem, Death Is Nothing At All, read at the funeral

The hearse carrying Miss Horton's coffin, adorned with white roses, arrived alone at walking pace just before 1330 GMT, led by an undertaker on foot.

Family members arrived at 1355 GMT and were greeted by two men who emerged from the church carrying white lilies.

Miss Horton's father and mother Ian and Elizabeth, and her brothers Christopher and Richard and their partners followed behind as her coffin was carried into the church by four pall-bearers.

Picture of Katherine Horton
Katherine Horton was on a break from studies at Reading University

Shoppers and local people gathered outside the shops opposite the church to pay their respects.

Many at the private ceremony were young people of Miss Horton's age including her travelling companion and university friend, Ruth Adams.

Miss Adams was among those who spoke during the 40-minute service, her voice cracking with emotion as she described how she would always remember her friend.

Mourners also listened to a selection of Miss Horton's favourite pop and rock tunes.

Crematorium service

The Reverend Michael Witcombe, who led the service, read the moving Canon Henry Scott Holland poem, Death Is Nothing At All, which contains the lines: "I have only slipped away into the next room, I am I and you are you, whatever we were to each other that we are still."

He also read from the Book of Revelations and the congregation joined in singing Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer and Now Thank We All Our God.

Miss Adams emerged from the church carrying a bunch of red flowers before young people later poured out of the church, embracing each other and wiping away tears.

Wichai Somkhaoyai (left) and Bualoi Posit arrive in court on Friday
Two men face sentencing for Katherine's murder on Wednesday

Following a 40-minute service, close friends and family made their way to a service at nearby Thornhill crematorium.

Miss Horton's body was found by a water biker in the sea off Koh Samui on 2 January. She had last been seen alive 12 hours before when she wandered off from a group of friends to phone her mother on her mobile phone.

A post-mortem examination conducted in Bangkok concluded she had been beaten and raped before being left in the water to drown.

Thai police launched a high-profile investigation and soon after arrested two fishermen, Wichai Somkhaoyai, 24, and Bualoi Posit, 23.

The two men - whose DNA is said to link them with Miss Horton's death - admitted the charges against them at a trial in Surat Thani last Friday.

Thailand's prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has called for the men to face the "maximum penalty" because of the damage done to the country's image.

Miss Horton's body was flown back to Britain from Thailand after her father, Ian, and eldest brother, Christopher, had visited the holiday island to appeal for help in catching her killers.

Amid speculation about her killers' punishment, Miss Horton's mother, Elizabeth, has said she does not believe they should be executed.

She told BBC Wales she was not making a plea for clemency but said she did not support the death penalty.




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