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Churches' silence for tragic family

Hundreds of people marked the deaths of a family of four with a minute's silence at two church services.

There were simultaneous Acts of Remembrance including readings, and prayers, in memory of the whole Case family at St Mary's Church, Fordingbridge, and St Aldhelm's Church, Sandleheath, in Hampshire.

The ceremonies came exactly a week after the bodies of two-year-old Phoebe Case and her sister Nereya, one, were found on a bed at their family home in Provost Street, Fordingbridge.

It is believed that their father, HGV driver Andrew Case, 33, killed them and then stabbed their mother, Victoria Case, 31, to death before hanging himself but detectives are still investigating the deaths.

How the children died has not been determined, but further tests will be carried out. Inquests into all the deaths are due to be opened in Southampton.

The 30-minute services included the lighting of candles and the minute's silence. Many of those present were families from the close-knit New Forest community.

Psalm 130 was read, which starts "Out of the deep have I called unto you O Lord" and music included Pie Jesu and the reading Walking With Grief. Enya's Hope On The Road was also played and the hymn Lord Of All Hopefulness sung before many lit a candle in memory of the family.

At the medieval St Mary's, the Act of Remembrance was led by Rev Peter Murphy and a Reader, Sally Johnson. At the early 20th century St Aldhelm's, the service was led by Rev John Towler and Rev Tracy Robinson. The St Aldhelm's service was in the same church where Phoebe and Nereya were recently baptised.

A prayer has been available in the churches since the deaths. Part of it said: "In this time of perplexity we pray for the souls of Vicki, Phoebe, Nereya and Andrew who died in such tragic circumstances." It added: "We pray for the relatives of the family in their shock and extreme sadness."

The family was well-known in the area and the shocked community has come together in their grief.


From Belfast Telegraph