Hannah Smith funeral: Hundreds turn out in bright clothing to mourn Ask.fm cyberbully victim
Father David Smith leads mourners in celebration of his daughter's life, as the question-and-answer website says it will delay publishing findings of policy review as a mark of respect
The funeral of 14-year-old Hannah Smith, who committed suicide two weeks ago after suffering abuse from cyberbullies on the website Ask.fm, was attended by hundreds of mourners wearing bright clothes and onesies today in Leicestershire.
Hannah was found by her sister hanged in her bedroom at the family home in Lutterworth, after anonymous users on the question-and-answer site attacked her with a barrage of insults and said: “Why don’t you kill yourself?”
Today more than 400 people gathered at St Mary’s Church in a celebration of Hannah’s life, requested to dress cheerfully by the Smith family.
Hannah’s father David Smith, wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans, was among those who carried a purple coffin with “I love you” written on the side.
They carried Hannah through heavy rain to a service led by the Rev Charlie Styles, in a church adorned with purple and white balloons and in front of a poster reading “Be Happy for Hannah hung from a lectern.
The funeral procession entered the church to 'In The Air Tonight' by Phil Collins.
Hannah’s sister Jo, 16, walked behind the coffin, consoled by her stepmother, Deborah Smith.
During the service, there were readings by Nora Parker, headteacher of Lutterworth High School, and Hannah's cousin, Ben Hubbard.
'Say It Right' by Nelly Furtado, one of the teenager's favourite songs, was also played.
Hannah's coffin was carried out to 'One Step Beyond' by Madness before the congregation gathered on the grass outside the church carrying purple and white balloons from inside.
The balloons were then released into the sky after a count of “1-2-3 - Goodbye” from Mr Styles.
Hannah’s funeral came as police opened investigations into claims that a Scottish teenager, 17-year-old Daniel Perry, had killed himself after being blackmailed online.
And amid growing concerns that anonymity allows people to abuse their victims online with impunity, Hannah’s death prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to call for a boycott of “vile” websites.
Ask.fm has been conducting a review of its safety policies in the wake of recent tragedies, and had planned to announce the action it will take based on lawyers' recommendations today, but said it would delay this out of respect to Hannah.
In a statement released by founders Mark and Ilja Terebin, the Latvian-based company said: “It has come to our attention today that Friday 16th August, the funeral of Hannah Smith is being held.
"We have decided, as a mark of respect to Hannah, her family and their grief, that we will delay any announcement until Monday 19th August.“
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