Hundreds of young pay their respects

The funeral of Stanley Harrison
The funeral of Stanley Harrison

Mourners gathered to say goodbye to Daventry teenager Stanley Harrison at his funeral on Friday.

The 17-year-old, who lived on Hillary Close on the Ashby Fields estate, died at Walsgrave Hospital following an incident on the Lang Farm estate last month.

On Friday family, friends and civic figures joined a procession from the New Street police station down to Holy Cross Church for the service.

In a statement released by the Stanley’s mother, she thanked everyone for the help she has received.

She said: “I would like to thank everyone for their continued support and kindness at this difficult time.”

There were readings at the Holy Cross service from Sergeant Sam Dobbs of the Daventry Safer Community Team and Andrew Mackereth, the principal of The Parker E-ACT Academy, formerly William Parker School which Stanley used to attend.

In a joint statement they said: “Both of us were humbled and honoured to be asked to read at the funeral of Stanley Harrison last Friday in a church packed full of his friends, families and representatives of the Daventry community.

“Presumptuously, considering ourselves as ‘stakeholders’ in the youth community of the town, we were at the same time choked and proud of what we saw and heard.

“The town centre saw hundreds of young people showing respect, restraint and dignity beyond their years as they silently waited and followed the cortege, embracing Stanley’s family which was clearly overwhelmed by the virtual and often literal hugs which surrounded them throughout the day.

“Yet again, the young people of this town showed that the anecdotal maligning of ‘the youth of today’ is something to be cautioned against and that we need not tar all with the same brush when a few let the side down with antisocial behaviour or disrespect.

“The messages of the clergy reminded all of us of the frailty of life and the need for continuing support by the community of Stanley’s family and friends.

“The ministers will no doubt forgive us for saying though how even more impactive were the messages delivered by the brave young men who falteringly but solidly delivered their tributes which, as well as affectionately describing Stanley’s life and contribution, also expressed their anger, sorrow and horror whilst demanding restraint, love and self-control each for the other.

“They vowed on behalf of everyone that one life lost is one life too many and that we all have a role in ensuring it doesn’t happen again.

“One way of ensuring this is for us to work hard on maintaining the community spirit which truly characterises our town and district.

“In the sadness, we both wanted to express our confidence in the ability and desire of Daventry’s young people to play their full part in that community, prematurely matured by the sobering experience of the past four weeks.

“Finally, and speaking for all of us present at the funeral, we send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Stanley’s mum and dad for their continued fortitude and self-restraint at a time of unimaginable shock and sadness.”

A 17-year-old, who can not be named for legal reasons, has been charged with his murder and is currently in custody. He is scheduled to appear next in court in October.

n Police say they were called to an incident at 5.30pm at the Queen of Hearts pub on Ashby Fields following the funeral. They confirmed no arrests were made.