Funeral held for arson death children

Ariana Grande Image copyright PA
Image caption The coffins were each themed with the children’s interests

Hundreds of people are attending the funeral of four children killed in a firebombing attack on their home.

Demi Pearson, 15, her brother Brandon, eight, and sisters Lacie, seven, and Lia, three, were killed in the blaze in Walkden, Greater Manchester, last year.

Their mother Michelle Pearson, 36, was unable to attend as she recovers from injuries suffered in the blaze.

The mother-of-six has been in hospital since the attack in December.

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Grandmother Sandra Lever said due to “unforeseen medical circumstances” Mrs Pearson could not attend the service at St Paul’s Church.

Brandon Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Lia, Demi, Brandon, Lacie and Michelle Pearson

But the service included a speech from Mrs Pearson, read on her behalf, describing the children as: “The twinkle in her eye now they’re angels in the sky.

“One day we will be united forever,” it added.

Ariana Grande’s version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was also played.

The starting point of the procession was on Jackson Street, where they lived, and paused outside Bridgewater Primary School, where the two middle children attended.

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Bridgewater Primary School Image copyright PA
Demi Pearson Image copyright PA

It included bagpipes and drummers, and 200 members of the family and friends following four white horse-drawn carriages.

The carriages arrived in age order, with Demi first, and the coffins were each themed with the children’s interests – music, the Avengers, My Little Pony and Peppa Pig.

A private burial, for family members only, will take place after the service.

Mrs Pearson’s family said she had wanted to attend the funeral despite still being ill after suffering a series of infections.

Lacie Image copyright PA

She learned that four of her children were dead after coming out of a four-month coma.

The siblings were murdered as they slept in their beds after Zak Bolland, 23, and David Worrall, 26, smashed a kitchen window and threw petrol bombs inside following a feud which prompted a series of tit-for-tat attacks.

Lacie Pearson Image copyright PA
Image caption Mourners gathered outside the church ahead of the service.
Manchester Image copyright PA
Image caption Firefighters formed a guard of honour before the cortege arrived for the funeral service

Bolland and Worrall were both given four life sentences for murder after a trial in May.

Bolland’s girlfriend Courtney Brierley, 20, was jailed for 21 years for four counts of manslaughter.

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Michelle Pearson Image copyright PA
Image caption A private burial, for family members only, will take place after the service

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