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A Cornish town united in grief yesterday at the funeral of schoolgirl Caroline Dickinson, 13, who was raped and murdered on a French hostel holiday. Parents and pupils wept openly as they crowded to overflowing the historic St Mary Magdalen Church in the heart of Launceston, on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Hundreds more stood outside the parish church in brilliant sunshine as the service ended.

Many of the wreaths were shaped like cats, reminders of the schoolgirl's pet, Bimbo. One floral tribute was from Launceston College, where she was a second-year pupil. It said: "A quiet and gentle girl of whom we were so proud." another tribute card bore poignant pencilled messages from classmates. One said simply: "Why?" and another: "You will be missed, never forgotten." It was a week ago that Caroline's killer crept into the hostel at Pleine-Fourgeres, near St Malo, to her ground floor room. A 39-year-old local tramp with a history of sex offences has been charged with her murder.