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Hundreds mourn anti-gun woman

20 June 08 14:02 GMT

Hundreds of mourners turned out to pay their respects at the funeral of anti-gun campaigner Pat Regan.

Mrs Regan was found stabbed to death at a property in Marlborough Grange in the Hyde Park area of Leeds on 31 May.

All Hallows Church in the Hyde Park area of the city was packed for the service. In a statement, the Archbishop of York paid tribute to Mrs Regan.

Dr John Sentamu said the community had been "robbed of a passionate voice against violence".

Her grandson Rakeim Regan, 20, has been remanded in custody charged with the 53-year-old's murder.

On Thursday evening a wake was held at the Vessels to Honour Church on the Burley Hill Trading Estate, which continued until midnight.

On Friday lunchtime about 300 people had gathered at the All Hallows Church.

Mrs Regan's coffin was carried into the church as Bob Marley's One Love song was played and applause broke out in the congregation.

The service lasted two hours with a number of tributes being offered by family and friends.

The mother-of-six started her campaign against gun crime after her son Danny, 25, was shot dead in 2002 in Merseyside. His killer has never been found.

She had been a high-profile spokeswoman against gun crime and met government officials to discuss how to tackle the problems of guns and gang-related crime.

Dr Sentamu's statement said: "I was already aware of her work with Mothers Against Violence in Leeds, following the murder of her son Danny six years ago," he said.

"It was evident to all that she was passionate to make sure other mothers didn't experience what she had gone through."

The Archbishop said Mrs Regan was motivated "by her deep love for her lost son and by a vibrant faith with love at its heart".

"Her loss is a tragedy to a community who have been robbed of a passionate voice against violence and to a wider society that is still not doing enough to embrace those values for which Pat campaigned."

He added that Mrs Regan's efforts to educate and transform the lives of young people at risk from violence had left a legacy "that will be lived out in the lives of the people of Leeds and beyond".

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