UK

Family and friends gather for funeral of 15-year-old Elianne Andam

Elianne Andam, 15, was stabbed to death on her way to school in Croydon, south London (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Elianne Andam, 15, was stabbed to death on her way to school in Croydon, south London (Metropolitan Police/PA) Elianne Andam, 15, was stabbed to death on her way to school in Croydon, south London (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Family and friends have gathered for the funeral of 15-year-old Elianne Andam who was stabbed to death as she made her way to school in Croydon, south London.

The service for the teenager who was fatally attacked on September 27 was held on Saturday at the New Life Christian Centre, Croydon.

Her coffin was brought to the service in a white carriage drawn by four white horses with pink plumes.

Elianne Andam death
Elianne Andam death Elianne Andam, 15, who was stabbed to death in Croydon, south London (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The pallbearers who accompanied the coffin into the church were dressed in dark suits with white shirts and pink ties.

Speaking ahead of the funeral, Elianne’s aunts Regina Boafo and Ruby Paintsil said it would be a celebration of her life because “she’s a girl that liked to bring joy to people’s lives”.

Ms Painsil told the BBC her niece wanted to “defend the voiceless and said: “She doesn’t like injustice; she likes justice for people.

“Every time she’d get in trouble (it was) fighting for someone else.”

She added that the service would be a celebration and said: “If Elianne was here she’d say ‘go on, have fun, don’t break down’, and things like that.”

Ms Boafo added: “It will be nice to celebrate it and for us, she will forever remain in our hearts – she can never be gone.”

Ms Paintsil said that Elianne’s mother, Dorcas Andam, was trying to be strong and added: “She is broken a lot … we have to keep comforting her. She hasn’t been herself, every day broken into pieces.”

Previously, Elianne’s family said in a statement: “We as a family are struggling to comprehend this painful tragedy that has happened to our beautiful daughter and beloved sister Elianne. Our hearts are broken.

“Elianne was a beautiful person inside and out who loved Jesus. She was intelligent, thoughtful, kind and had a bright future ahead. It is our request that you keep our cherished daughter Elianne and our family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Elianne had met up with two female friends on her way to school before she was “brutally” attacked.

Elianne Andam death
Elianne Andam death People lay flowers near the scene in Croydon, south London, where Elianne Andam was attacked (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

It is claimed her attacker, wearing a mask and gloves, had removed a large knife from his waistband and stabbed Elianne repeatedly.

As he fled the scene, others attempted to administer first aid but Elianne could not be saved.

A special post-mortem examination showed she had suffered multiple stab wounds.

Elianne Andam death
Elianne Andam death Stormzy joins people attending a vigil outside the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon for Elianne Andam (Yui Mok/PA)

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with Elianne’s murder and will face trial on April 29.

A candle-lit vigil attended by the rapper Stormzy was held outside the Whitgift shopping centre a week after her death.