Charlotte Smith's funeral: Mourners pay tribute to alleged Leek murder victim
THE family of alleged murder victim Charlotte Smith were offered words of comfort at a service to celebrate her life.
Hundreds of mourners gathered to say a final farewell to the 41-year-old – known as Charlie – at her funeral yesterday.
The Reverend Roy Lovatt led tributes to Charlotte, below, who was found dead at her home in Ladderedge, Leek, last month.
He told the congregation at St Chad's Church, Longsdon: "For people who knew and loved Charlie, the pain is doubled because of the cruel manner in which she was snatched away. What the rest of us can do is give Charlie's family our unstinting support."
More than 200 mourners heard how Charlotte had mourned the loss of her younger brother, Olly.
As family members huddled together in tears, Mr Lovatt told how Charlotte and Olly had shared a deep bond from early childhood.
"Right from the start, Charlie mothered Olly and loved him dearly," he said.
"Charlie and Olly loved spending school holidays with gran and grandad Smith. At night you would hear them giggling, when they should have been asleep."
Reading from a tribute prepared by Charlotte's parents, Mr Lovatt told how she had worked as a selector at the now-closed Royal Doulton factory in Baddeley Green.
During her time there, she made many friends, enjoyed her work and 'loved the banter'.
Mr Lovatt said: "Charlie had been in a long relationship that sadly ended when she lost her brother. Her world fell apart."
However, the church heard how Charlotte took strength from her family and many friendships.
She loved spending nights out and holidays with her friends.
She had recently enjoyed a trip to Krakow, Poland, where she visited Auschwitz, the site of Hitler's infamous Second World War death camp.
Mourners stood and listened as one of Charlotte's favourite songs, I'm in the Mood for Dancing by the Nolan Sisters, was played.
The vicar read passages from the Gospel of St John and led several prayers for Charlotte, while two hymns were sung – Dear Lord and Father of Mankind and The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended. A passage in the order of service handed out to the congregation read: "Do not be sad for me, my life has been full. I have loved and been loved, I have known happiness and sadness.
"I have met lots of great people and found wonderful friends.
"I am at peace now with my dearest and beautiful brother.
"Think of me sometime when there is laughter and say 'yes, I remember Charlie'."
A post-mortem examination carried out after Charlotte was discovered on September 6 revealed she died from head and facial injuries, which are suspected to have been caused by a blunt instrument.
Her husband Devendra Singh has been charged with her murder. Singh, aged 33, of Ladderedge, is due to appear at Stafford Crown Court on November 20.