THE grief-stricken father of Becky Watts yesterday spoke of his love for his “shy girl” who “touched the hearts of the nation” as hundreds gathered to say a final goodbye.
During a moving tribute at his daughter’s funeral, Darren Galsworthy said the teenager had left a huge void in their lives and would forever be in their hearts and thoughts.
Becky left a huge void in our lives – we loved her so muchFather Darren Galsworthy
The service was held as it emerged that Becky died as a result of suffocation.
Hundreds of mourners, some wearing T-shirts featuring a photograph of the popular 16-year-old, filled St Ambrose Church in Whitehall, Bristol, to pay their respects, while others gathered outside to watch the service relayed on a TV screen.
As the horse-drawn carriage carrying the student’s white coffin arrived at the church, many people threw pink roses, making a sea of flowers in the road.
Mr Galsworthy helped carry his daughter’s coffin into the church, as Leona Lewis’s hit song Footprints in the Sand played.
His tribute was read by Rev David James, who led the hour-long service.
“When Becky started school she was so shy that she wouldn’t let Anjie (Mr Galsworthy’s partner) leave her there on her own, so Anjie ended up being an unpaid teaching assistant for four years,” he said.
“We remember her coming home one afternoon. She had just started the first year at the juniors and she was crying and when we asked her what was wrong, Becky told us that no-one would play with her because she had the wrong doll.
“So we went out and made sure she had the right doll for the next day, and on that day she returned home all smiles and excited and told us about a new friend and this friendship lasted all the way through junior school.
“In Year 6 she became a mentor for younger children joining the school. Although still very shy herself, she would still watch out for any child stood in the playground on their own, looking lost and scared. She would encourage them to join her little mentor group.
“That was Becky all over. She couldn’t make friends herself but didn’t want younger children to feel like she did.
“We received letters from the parents of these children thanking us for all our big-hearted girl did for theirs.”
He added: “Becky has left a huge void in our lives and touched the hearts of the nation. We all loved you so much and, as you look down from heaven, just look at what your short life has achieved – not bad for a shy girl.
“You will forever be in our hearts and thoughts. Rest in peace, angel of Bristol.”
He added: “Thank you to all the people of Bristol and all the fundraisers and all the support we have received from the entire country.”
The service ended with Becky’s grandfather, John Galsworthy, singing Somewhere.
Becky’s boyfriend, Luke Oberhansli, helped carry her coffin from the church. Her father released a single white dove and said simply “Bye, Becks” as mourners broke out into a spontaneous round of applause.
The family then left for a private interment at a nearby cemetery.
Becky vanished from her family home on 19 February. Police discovered her body parts at a house in Bristol on 2 March and charged her stepbrother, Nathan Matthews, 28, with murder.
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