'Devastated' Croydon community remembers 'loved' Elianne Andam and Bradley Hutchins

"She's a loved young girl, to see so many people coming out praying has been mind-blowing," said Anthony King, who attended the memorial

"The community is absolutely devastated," said David Russell, one of hundreds of people paying their respects to two young people whose lives were lost to knife crime.

In the last month, Croydon has seen a 15-year-old girl stabbed to death on her way to school and a 20-year-old man fatally knifed in the stomach after a fight broke out.

On Sunday, family, faith leaders, police and other community members in the area gathered to remember Elianne Andam and Bradley Hutchins.

Schoolgirl Elianne died after being stabbed while on her way into class last week.

Her family said their "hearts are broken" during a vigil in which they paid tribute to "the light of [their] lives".

A bus driver and a passer-by were seen desperately trying to save Elianne Andam. Credit: Met Police

Bradley Hutchins was found by London Ambulance on Tuesday, September 12.

Despite paramedics' desperate attempts to save him, he died at the scene.

On Sunday, hundreds of people attended The Queen's Gardens park for a memorial service for the pair.

David Russell. Credit: ITV News

David Russell said: "Every death is tragic but when its someone you know, it's hit them very hard, particularly those who knew her well.

"The wider church and community know the family well, so they are absolutely devastated."

Anthony King Credit: ITV News

Anthony King said: "She's a loved young girl, to see so many people coming out praying, supporting the family has been mind-blowing."

Bishop Mark Nicholson added: "Everyone's feeling it, don't know where it came from, why it happened but we just felt a responsibility to be here."

Bishop Mark Nicholson Credit: ITV News

Elianne was wounded in the neck after getting off a bus on Wellesley Road in Croydon, south London, at around 8.30am on Wednesday, with members of the public rushing to try to save her.

Describing Elianne on Thursday, her family said: "She was bright and funny, with many friends who all adored her. She was only 15, and had her whole life ahead of her, with hopes and dreams for the future.

"All those dreams have now been shattered. Our lives have fallen apart, along with that of our wider family.

"We ask the media to please respect our privacy as we try to grieve the short life of our beautiful child."

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with her murder and with possessing a knife.

Wearing a grey tracksuit, he stood before Croydon Magistrates' Court on Friday and he was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.

Shane Canavan, 22 and Josha Langley 27, both of Purley CR8, were charged on 18 September with the murder of Mr Hutchins, attempted murder and possession of pointed and bladed articles.

They were to appear at the Old Bailey on 21 September.

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