Service held to remember Holly Newton on first anniversary of her death

  • Holly's aunt told our reporter Tom Barton the last twelve months had been the "worst time of their lives"

A memorial service has been held in memory of a 15-year-old girl who was stabbed to death a year ago.

Holly Newton, of Haltwhistle, died in hospital after suffering knife injuries in an incident in the Priestpopple area of Hexham on 27 January 2023.

A 16-year-old boy was also taken to hospital and suffered non-life-threatening knife injuries in the attack after the pair made their way home from school.

Purple flowers, ribbons and candles were left in memory of Holly. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Family, friends and members of the public descended on Hexham Abbey, its ancient interior lit in purple - Holly's favourite colour.Following the service, flowers were laid and candles were lit alongside messages for the teenager and her family.

Special prayer cards were handed out at the service. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The service was led by Rev Dr Henry Hope, who told ITV Tyne Tees: "We're gathering together in the abbey to remember Holly but also to comfort one another and support one another as we mark this sad milestone.

"It's important to mark it together as a community, yes of course, it's an event that's particularly painful and most painful of course for the family and Holly's closest friends, but it was an event that really touched the whole town last year.

"It's a sign (the service) to the family that they're not the only ones who will be remembering Holly, that they don't stand alone in their grief but that they are supported by the whole community."

Ahead of the anniversary, Holly's mother Micala Trussler, said: "Everyone is welcome to join our family and friends of Holly Newton in an act of remembrance at Hexham Abbey.

"A moment of silent reflection will be followed by some words from Curate Henry Hope and tributes from myself and friends. Attendees are welcome to light a candle and there will be the opportunity to dedicate special purple stars in Holly’s memory as part of the Abbey's Stars for Eternity installation."

"For those unable to attend, stars can be dedicated in the Abbey between now and Tuesday 30 January and candles can be lit in the Abbey in Holly’s memory at any time during normal opening hours."

Hexham Abbey was illuminated in purple lighting in memory of Holly Newton. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of murder, attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

The courts are still deciding if the Gateshead teenager is fit to stand trial.

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