THE heartbroken family and friends of a teenager found stabbed to death have paid tribute to their “brightest star”.
Hundreds of mourners turned out to pay their respects at the funeral of 16-year-old Sasha Marsden, whose body was discovered in an alleyway behind Kirby Road, South Shore.
The teenager’s family and friends said their final goodbye to the “bubbly and caring” youngster yesterday.
Dressed in pink and purple – Sasha’s favourite colours – mourners broke down as the young student’s pink coffin was carried into St Chad’s Church, in Poulton, as Swedish House Mafia’s Don’t You Worry Child was played.
In a poignant letter read to the congregation by Rev Martin Keighley, Sasha’s best friend, Angel French, said: “Sasha Marsden was more than a friend to me, she was a sister and a protector.
“She was always there for me and never gave up.
“Yes, we had our ups and downs, but that’s why we all loved her, the banter, the laughs and the cheeky comments show she could get herself heard.
“She was bubbly and caring. If you needed her, she would be there for you no matter what was going on in her life.
“I loved her, like a sister and a best friend.”
Poems were also read by two of Sasha’s aunts with one auntie, Gail, describing her as the “brightest star”.
She said: “Some things can’t be mended, a link in the chain of a large loving family that will never be the same.”
Sasha, from Staining, was studying for a level one childcare course at Blackpool and The Fylde College when she died on January 31.
Her body was discovered in an alleyway behind The Grafton House Hotel.
Sasha had joined the college in September, after studying at both Bispham High School and Collegiate High School.
Mandy Pritchard, head of school at the college, paid tribute to a “bright student”.
She said: “When Sasha first came to college last September I got to know her quite well.
“She became a valued member of a small group and quickly showed she cared deeply about other students.
“She was determined to succeed in her chosen career.”
Speaking after the funeral, which was attended by dozens of Sasha’s friends from the college, Mrs Pritchard said the teenager had discussed with her about embarking on a level two childcare course, just hours before her death.
She added: “The service was very much what people thought about Sasha, it was a lovely service.
“And the tributes, particularly from her family, were just amazing and really summed up what Sasha meant to everybody.
“There were lots and lots of students and staff there and she is hugely missed at college – she’s missed dreadfully.
“We talk about her all the time.”
David Minto, 22, from Kirby Road, South Shore, has been charged with murder in relation to Sasha’s death.
He will next appear before Preston Crown Court on April 24.