Elianne Andam: Family gather for funeral of 15-year-old schoolgirl stabbed to death in Croydon

The family and friends of 15-year-old Elianne Andam have gathered for her funeral after she was stabbed to death while on her way to school.

The teenager was fatally attacked on 27 September in Croydon, south London, after meeting two female friends.

On Saturday, her coffin was brought to the service at the New Life Christian Centre by a white carriage drawn by four white horses with pink plumes.

The pallbearers who accompanied the coffin into the church were dressed in dark suits with white shirts and pink ties.

Speaking to Sky News a day before the funeral, Elianne's two aunts said their family was "broken".

"I've never in my life been in so much pain. This is the first time I've left the house since it happened. When I see my sister - her mum - all I see is her tears," Ruby Paintsi said.

"We're broken. The whole family, broken. I keep waking up thinking this is a dream, but it's not - it's reality, she's gone."

Another of Elianne's aunts, Regina Boafa, said the authorities need to do more to tackle knife crime.

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"We need more money, whatever it takes to be sorted, but the politicians, people making the decisions, they all have to come together and sort out this crime," Regina Boafa said.

Elianne was described as a "beautiful person inside and out" by the family in a previous statement.

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with her murder and is due to face trial on 29 April 2024.

It is claimed the attacker was wearing a mask and gloves, and had removed a large knife from his waistband before stabbing Elianne repeatedly.

He then fled the scene.

Rapper Stormzy was among those who attended a candle-lit vigil outside the Centrale and Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon a week after Elianne's death.