Pink balloons for murdered Linzi
Hundreds of mourners have attended a moving funeral service for a murdered mother-of-two.
Pink helium balloons floated into the sky at the end of the service for 25-year-old Linzi Ashton, two of them released by her young daughters.
Miss Ashton, who worked as a barmaid in Salford, Greater Manchester, was found murdered at her home in the Winton area of the city on June 29.
Her eldest daughter Destiny, seven, was comforted by uncles, aunts and grandparents at the funeral, while two-year-old Daisy, cradled by a female member of the family, was coaxed into "making a wish for Mummy" before releasing her own pink balloon.
Each balloon had a heartfelt, handwritten message attached for the young mother, who died from multiple injuries and pressure to her neck.
The service at St Paul's Church in Salford Precinct had a pink theme, Miss Ashton's favourite colour, and her loved ones wanted the occasion to be an upbeat celebration of the life of the woman who was described by one family friend as a "typical bubbly blonde".
A horse-drawn carriage bore her bright pink coffin to the church, with mourners wearing shirts, dresses and ties in many different shades of pink. A separate hearse was filled with floral tributes, among them flowers spelling out "Sister" and "Mummy".
Miss Ashton's family followed her coffin in to the song Lady Marmalade by Pink, Lil' Kim, Christina Aguilera, and Mýa, for the start of the service, which included poems read by her close friends and the hymns May The Choirs Of Angels and All Things Bright And Beautiful.
Many were in tears as mourners emerged 40 minutes later, with Miss Ashton's coffin carried out to the song Diamonds by Rihanna. Family and friends hugged and comforted each other as the balloons were released before leaving for a private burial at nearby Weaste Cemetery.
Michael Cope, 28, of no fixed address, has been charged with Miss Ashton's murder. He is also facing charges that he assaulted and raped her and will go on trial later this year.