Goodbye our beautiful angel

IPSWICH: A touch of pink dotted the congregation as family and friends gathered to say their goodbyes to an angel taken too soon.

Sarah Shields was finally laid to rest yesterday, three months after her body was found floating in the sea off the southern coast of Gran Canaria on July 7.

Dozens of neighbours, childhood friends and former colleagues joined Sarah’s parents Angela and David Shields, her brothers Mark Shields and Paul Davis and her sister Linda Stephenson at St Augustine’s Church to pay their respects.

A spray of bright pink flowers adorned her coffin as the Reverend Canon Lionel Simpkins paid tribute to a “smiley, happy, friendly girl with a heart of gold.”

He said the first hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful, was chosen to reflect the 23-year-olds love of animals, in particular her beloved pet dog Bruiser.

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As Sarah’s coffin was carried from the church the Spice Girl’s hit Goodbye played as Sarah was followed by her devastated family.

Speaking after the service and private burial at the Millennium Cemetery, Mrs Shields, of Ramsgate Drive, said it had been an “overwhelming and emotional day.”

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“It was a beautiful sunny day, she was smiling down on us all as we said our final goodbyes to our own beautiful angel.

“I am glad today is over, I have been dreading it. It was amazing to see so many neighbours, friends and members of the family.

“I still can’t believe it is all happening, but I am so happy I now have somewhere to visit my baby girl and talk to her.

“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for their support over the last three months.”

At her funeral a collection was made for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and the RSPCA.

n Pay a tribute to Sarah. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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