Mourners pay last respects to journalist

MORE than 500 mourners packed St Edmundsbury Cathedral at the weekend at an emotional funeral service for respected BBC journalist Kate Peyton, who was recently murdered in Somalia.

MORE than 500 mourners packed St Edmundsbury Cathedral at the weekend at an emotional funeral service for respected BBC journalist Kate Peyton, who was recently murdered in Somalia.

Friends, family and work colleagues went to pay their final respects to the foreign affairs producer, who grew-up in Suffolk, on Saturday afternoon.

Among those who read tributes was George Alagiah, a BBC presenter and close friend of Miss Peyton.

Touching tributes from her sister Rebecca and brother Charles were also read in honour of the senior journalist, who "gave much of her life to help in Africa".


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A choir from Culford School, where Miss Peyton was educated, sung hymns during the service.

Cathedral Dean James Atwell who gave a blessing at the end of the service, said: "It was a lovely service, very sensitive with extremely moving music.

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"It was a lovely tribute for a woman who really gave her life to helping in Africa. What really came across was her moral integrity and her patience."

The journalist was killed in an apparent drive-by shooting while working for the BBC in Somalia's war-torn capital of Mogadishu.

She had travelled to Somalia with BBC reporter Peter Greste on February 9.

The pair were standing outside the city's Sahafi Hotel when a single shot was fired and hit Miss Peyton in the back. She later died in hospital from internal bleeding.

Although the taxi and the pistol used in the shooting have been found, those responsible for the murder have not been traced.

It is believed a fatwa - an official order issued by an Islamic leader - may have offered £5,000 for the death of westerners.

After being brought up in Suffolk, Miss Peyton worked for the BBC in Manchester until she moved to Africa 10 years ago to work as a freelance producer.

At the time of her death she was living in Johannesburg, but had been asked to go to Somalia as part of two-year working contract she had with the BBC.

Her mother Angela, who lives at Beyton, near Bury St Edmunds, recently said: "Broadcasting was her passion and she loved her job. She knew exactly what the dangers were but died doing the job she loved."

Following yesterday's funeral service a celebration of Miss Peyton's life was held in a marquee on the village green in Beyton.

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