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Mourners gather for cyberbullying victim's funeral

Mourners gathered today at St. Mary's Church in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, for the funeral of 14-year-old Hannah Smith, who took her own life after she was bullied online.

It came as co-founder Klavs Sinka told ITV News that the British media has hyped up a row over cyberbullying following teenager's death.

ITV News correspondent Nina Nannar reports: 'in no way guilty' after cyberbullying death

The co-founder of told ITV News in an exclusive interview that the site is "in no way guilty" following the death of cyberbullying victim Hannah Smith.

Klavs Sinka highlighted that has a privacy measure in place so its users can choose not to receive comments that are sent anonymously.

Hannah Smith, 14, took her own life after receiving abusive messages online. Credit: Facebook

Mr Sinka said, "You can construct a car with air bags and seat belts, but you cannot put a person next to you that will put a seat belt on you in an emergency".

He added that although the site can be made "as safe as possible", in the end it is up to the user to make the decision whether to use the privacy measure available.


Comments attributed to in UK press 'distorted' co-founder Klavs Sinka has suggested comments in the British media attributed to the social networking site about cyberbullying victim Hannah Smith were "distorted".

Klavs Sinka, a co-founder of, spoke exclusively to ITV News. Credit: ITV News

In an exclusive interview with ITV News, Mr Sinka claimed the hype surrounding the story was the work of the worst of the British press.

Mr Sinka said, "This is also why we have been avoiding making any comments, because we see that we can say anything but it will be twisted and turned back on us regardless of what we meant."

Co-founder: Other sites 'could learn' from co-founder Klavs Sinka told ITV News in an exclusive interview that other social networking sites "could learn" from when it comes to its moderation policies. co-founder Klavs Sinka said it was one of the 'best moderated' social networking sites. Credit:

Mr Sinka said, "I am not afraid to say that is one of the best controlled, best moderated and regulated projects".

"One could learn from us," he added. founder: PM 'did not have all the information'

The co-founder of social networking site told ITV News he believes David Cameron "did not have all the information about the case" when he urged parents to boycott "vile sites" following the death of cyberbullying victim Hannah Smith. co-founder Klavs Sinka speaks exclusively to ITV News. Credit: ITV News

Klavs Sinka said he believed the Prime Minister "hadn't really researched" the case before he made his comments.

He continued, "He was probably caught on the street in an interview similar to this and made a comment without having the full information about this case."

Hannah funeral 'a fitting tribute'

The vicar who led the funeral of 14-year-old cyberbullying victim Hannah Smith called the service "a fitting tribute".

Rev Charlie Styles said: "There were obvious tears and it was quite heartbreaking really to hear, especially some of the younger people, some of Hannah's friends sobbing.

"But the overall tone of the service, and the tone really of today, was a feeling of celebration and laughter even amidst the tears.

"It was a fitting tribute to Hannah - the music choices were the sort of thing that she loved, that she liked to dance to or sing in the shower, which was just wonderful to be able to do and I think, as well, we managed to express some of the sadness that we're all feeling."


  1. Jane Hesketh
  2. Central

Coffin carried into church by Hannah Smith's father

Hannah Smith's purple coffin was carried into St Mary's Church in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, by her father.

It was covered in a plastic sheet as the rain fell relentlessly.

Dave Smith carries his daughter's coffin into the church Credit: ITV News Central

Reverend Charlie Styles read extracts from a book of remembrance to Hannah, in which the 14-year-old was described as kind, loving and a good friend to all.

He said she warmed everyone's hearts and will be missed.

  1. Central

Mourners asked to wear bright colours to funeral

Dave Smith, the father of cyber-bullying victim Hannah Smith, has asked mourners attending her funeral to wear bright colours and 'onesies', to celebrate the life of the 14-year-old.

Guests arrive at the church in 'onesies' Credit: ITV News Central

The funeral is taking place this morning.

Mourners wearing bright colours arrive at the church Credit: ITV News Central

Hundreds mourn cyberbullying victim Hannah Smith

Hundreds of mourners gathered today to celebrate the life of a teenage girl who died after suffering abuse by cyberbullies.

Hannah Smith, 14, was found hanged in her bedroom at the family home in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, two weeks ago.

More than 400 mourners attended Hannah Smith's funeral. Credit: ITV News Central

Today more than 400 mourners arrived, dressed in bright clothing and onesies at the family's request, at St Mary's Church in the town for her funeral.

Purple and white balloons lined the aisle to the front of the church and a poster reading "Be Happy for Hannah" hung from a lectern with a picture of the teenager.

Hannah's father David Smith, dressed in a blue T-shirt and jeans, was among those who carried a purple coffin with "I love you" on the side.

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