Funeral of chase death father

More than 200 people today arrived for the funeral of a father of two who was killed after chasing suspected car thieves.

The service for Kevin Jackson, 31, was being held at All Saints Church in Dudwell Lane, Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Mr Jackson, a maintenance engineer, was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver and severely beaten close to his home in Skircoat Green, Halifax, on December 30 last year.

He died in hospital on New Year's Day, leaving sons Jake, seven and 18-month-old Tom and wife Julie, 33.

Among mourners attending today's service were Mr Jackson's parents, Philip and Pamela, and his sister Julie and her partner Max.

Leading the service, the Rev Tim Wilson, Vicar of All Saints, paid tribute to Mr Jackson as a man who was "passionate about engineering" and who dedicated much of is spare time to working on his house and garden.

He said: "We are here to remember Kevin. We are here also to support Julie and the family in their dreadful loss - and I know the family has already been moved by all the tokens of love and support they have received over the last two months.

"We are here, too, to pray for each other in our sadness and to pray for our society - appalled as we are that such desperately evil things can happen in our midst."

Mr Wilson said that Kevin was "the most energetic of people" who could "fix anything and would never say no to someone who wanted a shelf fixing or whose car wouldn't start".

He added: "Above all these things, he was a loving husband to Julie, a great father to Jake and Tom, and a loyal friend to many."

During the 40-minute service, around 30 mourners stood at the back of the church after all the seats were filled.

Printed on the back of the service booklet was a poignant poem which had been written by Mrs Jackson about her husband.

Entitled "Where The River Runs Through", the poem focuses on the river that flows between St Stephen's churchyard, Copley, where Mr Jackson will be laid to rest, and his home.

At the end of the service Mr Jackson's coffin - covered in white trumpet lilies - was carried out, followed by around 30 family members, many of whom were weeping.

Mrs Jackson, dressed in a knee-length black jacket and trousers with a purple flowery scarf and a black hat, then stood at the church door kissing and embracing mourners as they left.

Shortly after noon, the hearse was followed by family members in a procession of cars to St Stephen's church where a private burial was to take place.

Three men have been charged with murdering Mr Jackson and conspiring to steal his father-in-law's car.

Rashad Zaman, 20, of Apsley Crescent, Bradford; Rangzaib Akhtar, 19, of Salt Street, Bradford, and Raees Khan, 20, of Priestman Close, Bradford, are all remanded in custody and due to appear for a plea and directions hearing at Bradford Crown Court on May 1.

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