Hundreds mourn at funeral for murdered Joanne

Last updated at 15:13 04 April 2005

Hundreds of mourners gathered today for the funeral of Jobcentre worker Joanne Nelson.

The 22-year-old's body was discovered in woodland near Malton, North Yorkshire, on March 24 after she was reported missing on Valentine's Day.

About 200 people, including family and friends, packed into the chapel at Hull Crematorium for the hour-long service.

The start was delayed for several minutes as room was made in the chapel for the dozens of mourners who arrived to pay their final respects.

As Miss Nelson's coffin was brought in, the song The Sea, by Morcheeba, was played. A last picture of Joanne was placed at the front of the chapel and dozens of bouquets surrounded her coffin.


A moving tribute was given by one of Miss Nelson's younger sisters, Katie, 19.

She said: "Anyone who knew Joanne knew she was a wonderful person. She was fun-loving, high on life and bubbly. She was always the good one, so it's hard to understand why something like this has happened to her.

"She was my big sister, always looking out for me and taught me what was right and wrong. I didn't always take notice of her but she was always right."

Katie said her abiding memory was of a happy childhood, growing up with her sister with happy Christmases, holidays and family get-togethers.

Breaking down in tears she added: "I miss you so much. I wish I could give you one last kiss, one last hug, but I will be kissing you and hugging you forever."

Katie said her sister was now with the angels but her happy smiling face would always be with her.

Family friend Lee Creamer paid tribute to Miss Nelson adding: "She was beautiful, bright and loving. She was mischievous with a wonderful sense of humour."

Mr Creamer urged the mourners that to remember Miss Nelson's life with a positive outlook adding:

"Don't talk about Joanne in hushed tones in quiet corners. Celebrate her life and talk about her openly and keep her alive in your hearts and minds and memories."


The Rev Alan Craven said Joanne was a talented sportswoman who was good at netball, rounders and swimming. She had been accepted by Voluntary Service Overseas to work in Ghana, although she later took up a role at a Jobcentre in Hull.

He added: "For those 22 years she has achieved much. She has lived life every day to the full and left a mark on life in so many, many ways.

"We give thanks for those years to Jean and Charlie (her parents) and sisters Katie and Janie."

During the service the hymn All Things Bright And Beautiful was sung and the poem She Has Gone was read out. As the mourners left, the song Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve was played.

Miss Nelson was reported missing on Valentine's Day from her home in Hotham Road North, Hull.

Despite a large search by the police, army and other volunteers, her body was not discovered until late in March. A post-mortem examination showed she was strangled.

• Miss Nelson's boyfriend, wood machinist Paul Dyson, 30, from Hull, has appeared in court charged with her murder and was remanded in custody.