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Hundreds turn out for funeral of teenager stabbed in heart

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, 17, was stabbed in Ipswich and police are treating his death as a murder.

Hundreds of mourners turned out to the funeral of a teenager who was stabbed through the heart as he walked back from the shops.

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, 17, was attacked in the street in Ipswich on June 2 and later died in hospital.

Two men are due to appear before Ipswich Crown Court later this month charged with his murder.

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The order of service for the funeral (Joe Giddens/PA)

So many people attended his funeral on Wednesday that speakers were set up outside St Augustine’s Church in Ipswich so people who could not fit inside the venue could hear the service.

Many of the young people who turned out wore t-shirts bearing Tavis’s nickname, “Biggz”, which was also spelt out in flowers on top of the hearse.

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Tavis Spencer-Aitkens’ mother Sharon Box (second right) ahead of his funeral (Joe Giddens/PA)

His mother Sharon Box and twin brother Tyler were among those who walked with the cortege, with a horse-drawn carriage carrying his coffin.

This was followed by three black limousines and hundreds of people on foot.

In a tribute read to the service, his mother said: “Nobody knows what waits around the corner and I would like to say to each other and every one of you here today, love your children, love each other, just like I love my boys, family and friends.”

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Mourners arrives at St Augustine’s Church (Joe Giddens/PA)

She also said her “beautiful” son had been looking forward to going on holiday in Jamaica next year for his and Tyler’s 18th birthday.

Songs by Bob Marley and Stormzy were played at the service, and tributes were read from Tavis’s father Neville Aitkens, cousin Janaya McLennan and “soulmate” Shannon Green.

An inquest into the death of Tavis, who was found injured in Packard Avenue, was opened and adjourned in Ipswich on Wednesday morning.

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The funeral cortege makes its way to St Augustine’s Church (Joe Giddens/ PA)

Detective chief inspector Mike Brown told the hearing a post-mortem examination recorded the provisional medical cause of death as a stab wound to the heart.

The pathologist noted Tavis “sustained a number of stab wounds, defensive injuries and also an injury to the top of his head”, DCI Brown said.

Police arrested eight people in connection with Tavis’s death.

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Mourners watch as the coffin of stabbing victim Tavis Spencer-Aitkens is carried (Joe Giddens/PA)

Two have been charged with murder, four arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder have been bailed and two face no further action.

Detectives are continuing to appeal for information about the stabbing and have asked witnesses to upload information at mipp.police.uk/operation/804

Alternatively people can call the Suffolk Police Major Investigation Team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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