HUNDREDS of heartbroken mourners attended an emotional vigil for a murdered schoolgirl last night.
Holly Newton was knifed shortly after leaving school last Friday in Hexham, Northumberland.
9Holly Newton, 15, died last Friday when she was stabbed along with a 16 year old boyCredit: NNP9Family and friends paid their respects at the bandstand in Hexham, Northumberland, as part of a memorial vigilCredit: NNP9Purple ribbons have been wrapped around the posts and surrounding trees, with teddy bears and flowers around benchesCredit: NNP9Holly Newton, who is also known as Holly Olivia, was stabbed on Friday evening just hours after leaving schoolHer boyfriend was rushed to hospital with non-life threatening injuries after attempting to save Holly.
A 16-year-old boy, who can’t be named, was charged with murder, attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon.
Last night, hundreds gathered at a bandstand to honour Holly’s memory and to pay their respects to her family and friends.
Purple ribbons were wrapped around posts and surrounding trees, with teddy bears and flowers left around benches.
Candles have been lit for the teenager in 1500-year-old Hexham Abbey – illuminated by purple lights in her memory.
Fighting back tears, an emotional relative read out a family statement to the crowd.
She said: “Holly was a bright, bubbly girl who loved to dance and travelled all over for her competitions that she loved to do.
“She was such a funny girl, she was always on her phone making TikTok’s about dancing or taking the mick out of her mam.
“Once she ate a two pence coin and said she thought it was a chocolate coin.
“The family wants to thank the North East Ambulance Service, the staff at the RVI, Northumbria Police and all of the selfless people who helped Holly last week.
“We want to thank the community for their overwhelming love and support for Holly.
“Holly loved Hexham. She loved spending time with her friends after school and on weekends just walking around and going to McDonalds, Pizza Pizza and shopping.
“And of course, always asking us for money.
“This community has been rocked to its core by what happened to our Holly last Friday night.
“We want you to know that Hexham is a safe place to live.
“The truth will come out in time and we will have justice for our Holly.”
The family member urged anyone who may have any information – no matter how small – to contact the police to assist their investigation.
A sea of heartfelt cards and messages of love have also been laid at the vigil.
One card reads: “Holly, I am so sorry you were taken far too soon.
“I hope all of the angels are looking after you now, beautiful girl.”
Another says: “Dear Holly, you were taken too soon. Sending hope, love and strength to your parents, family and friends.”
“Holly’s little sister we are all thinking of you. Shotley Bridge Primary School,” one card read.
Suzanne Fairless-Aitken, councillor for Hexham East said: “The community is shattered by this.
“I’m hoping the vigil can help us pick up the pieces.
“The family have been phenomenal.
“It is is very raw.
“One of my children came home from school on Monday and said ‘everything is the same but everything is different’ and I think that sums up the mood.
“It’s a shock, our children are no different to anywhere else in the country.
“Parents have a responsibility, check your child’s phone and their backpack.
“We have a collective responsibility to take care of our children.”
Hundreds of teenagers showed support at the vigil and wore purple hoodies while Robbie Williams’ song Angels played.
Bryan Hart, 56, a carer from Hexham said: “We have two girls Holly’s age and you don’t expect this to happen.
“One of them knew Holly, she went to the same school.
“It’s a worry.
“You hear about these things happening in the South East and London but when it’s on your doorstep it makes you more aware of it.
“We were in Hexham the night that it happened but we left ten minutes earlier.
“By the time we got home and heard what happened we couldn’t believe it.
“She was so young. You expect your kids to come home.”
Another local, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s had a massive impact on the community.
“Everyone is touched by it.
“She was so young, it’s a tragedy.
“She was a young girl with her whole life ahead of her and it’s been cut short.”
Another local added: “It’s been a very sombre and strange atmosphere in Hexham over the last week.
“It’s been heartbreaking.
“I have a 17-year-old so it’s hit home.
“It makes me worry about them going out, which is something we have never had to do in Hexham. It’s always been safe here.”
The horror unfolded on Friday just after 5pm outside Pizza Pizza restaurant.
Holly and her boyfriend had staggered into the takeaway where stunned staff rushed to help them.
The teen girl was taken to hospital but sadly couldn’t be saved and died shortly after.
Holly’s heartbroken mum revealed her boyfriend had tried to save the Holly.
The family previously paid tribute to the “bright and bubbly girl” who was “so passionate about her family and many friends”.
A statement said: “She was a much-loved daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece and cousin.
“Holly was always a popular girl, who was loved by so many people – not just in Hexham – but all over the North East.
“Holly also loved dancing and was so talented – and a big part of her spare time was spent at classes and taking part in competitions up and down the country.
“She had her whole life ahead of her and we are still coming to terms with the fact that our beautiful and loving girl is no longer with us.
“Rest in peace to our baby girl – we love you so much and our lives will never be the same without you here.
“You touched so many hearts and you will be missed beyond words by all of your family and loved ones.
“As a family, we would like to thank everyone in the community for their support and kind words.”
Keen dancer Holly was a year-10 pupil at Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School.
9Family and friends paid their respectsCredit: NNP9Holly’s death has shaken the local communityCredit: NNP9The bandstand has been illuminated with purple lights in Holly’s memoryCredit: NNP9Holly Newton died last FridayCredit: NNP9Floral tributes left at the bandstand in Hexham, Northumberland, as part of a memorial vigilCredit: NNP
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk