THE funeral of a 15-year-old girl who tragically died after taking a form of ecstasy has taken place with close family and friends in attendance.

North Yorkshire schoolgirl Leah Heyes collapsed and died after taking a drug, also known as MDMA, on the night of Saturday, May 11.

Leah, who was described as a “thoughtful and beautiful girl” by her mother Kerry Roberts, collapsed in the Applegarth car park in Northallerton shortly after taking the drug at around 9.30pm.

On Tuesday, May 28, more than 100 of Leah’s close family and friends gathered at the All Saints Church in Northallerton High Street for her funeral.

Dozens of passersby and shop owners came out to pay their respects as Leah’s family gathered outside.

York Press:

Dressed smartly, but colourfully at the family’s request, those in attendance who knew Leah or wanted to pay tribute, took to their seats inside. Leading proceedings, Reverend Fiona Mayer-Jones, opened the funeral with a prayer before she read out the first of many heartfelt tributes.

The church heard from family members and friends how Leah had an “outgoing personality” and that her death had left a “hole in many hearts.”

At Leah’s mother’s request, Rev Mayer-Jones read out her speech.

She said: “My beautiful girl Leah was born on 17th August 2003 at 2.51pm and that was the day I fell in love. I couldn’t believe how well-behaved she was, I thought it would be much harder being a young mum. I thought, I escaped all of the crying and tantrums but that was not be.

“Leah started school at the age of four, she was so little but made new friends all of the time – she liked school and had favourite teachers.

“Leah never had a favourite subject at school, but really enjoyed cross-country and was really good at it.

“Leah was always playing out with her friends and was invited to any party growing up, where she was always the life and soul. She always loved shopping, she loved to spend money.”

York Press:

The speech continued to talk about how precious memories had been made.

“Leah loved singing at caravan parks but her favourite days out were at theme parks. She also loved summer days in Richmond. As she grew up she wasn’t fond of school but loved dressing up. Leah loved to party. As she got older, she loved pamper parties – I would spend money for herself and friends to pamper themselves.”

As the speech concluded, Kerry’s speech touched on her daughter’s caring nature and how ‘overwhelmed’ she had been when told to expect another sibling.

“She was overwhelmed the day we told her that she was going to be a big sister again. She will be forever in my heart. She had a heart of gold and an amazing sense of humour. Life will never be the same without you. Her friend’s tributes have really helped me, Leah grew into an always, hungry, lively and funny young lady.”

The church fell silent before Rev Mayer-Jones, through the family’s words, told of how Leah admired Mamma Mia 2 and in particular, the song ‘When I Kissed The Teacher’ which was then played to the church.

As proceedings drew to a close, further prayers, including The Lord's Prayer, took place before “Dancing In The Sky” by Dani and Lizzy was played and donations for a permanent memorial were collected.

A fundraiser, in aid of the memorial, has been set up on Justgiving.

Around £1,900 has already been raised by more than 90 people.

To donate visit

The Press' sister paper The Northern Echo attended the service with the permission of Leah’s family.