Hundreds attend funeral of Northampton teenager Fred Shand, stabbed on way home from school

  • ITV News Anglia was invited to Fred Shand's funeral service. Graham Stothard reports from there.

Hundreds of people have gathered to say a final farewell at the funeral of a teenager who was stabbed to death as he came home from school.

Sixteen-year-old Rohan Shand - better known as Fred - died after the incident in the Kingsthorpe area of Northampton in March.

In a tribute released ahead of the funeral at All Saints Church in Northampton on Friday, his family described him as "truly our pride and joy".

Some people who attended the service on Friday came as far afield as the Caribbean.

Rohan Shand Sr fulfilled his duty as pallbearer to his 16-year-old son of the same name.

Fred Shand was just 16 when he died. Credit: Family photo

Courtney Johnson, a family friend said: "He still hasn't had it registered with him that he's lost his son because he tells me he still wakes up in the morning, goes to his bedroom with a cup of tea.

"That's the relationship they had. They were like friends. So he's lost not only a son, he's also lost a friend and it is painful for him."

He added: "It's very, very difficult. The community are still trying to cope with it.

"And from what I hear as well there are still schoolchildren struggling to return to school because of this incident and so that is something which needs to be healed."

Father Oliver Coss, at All Saints' Church, said there had been a "wave of grief" through the community after Fred's death.

"That, I think, has been a real comfort to his family, who at a time where you might feel very alone, very isolated, they felt they'd been upheld by the people who are closest to them."

Pastor Donnovan Allen said: "We need to ask the question: why would someone pick up a knife and carry it? Why would they want to take someone's life?

"These are questions probably all over the world but we can't look and say what was happening over there, we need to look and see what we can do on our patch."

As the funeral ended, his family, clinging to each other for support.

Fred's coffin was carried by horse and carriage, with the cortege pausing at the place where he was killed for a moment's reflection.

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