Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

After 13 Funeral Services in One Desperate Week for Cumbria, the Gunman Responsible for Them All Is Finally Laid to Rest; Some Family of Killer Felt Unable to Attend Service

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

After 13 Funeral Services in One Desperate Week for Cumbria, the Gunman Responsible for Them All Is Finally Laid to Rest; Some Family of Killer Felt Unable to Attend Service

Article excerpt

Byline: John Fahey

MASS killer Derrick Bird's sons last night paid tribute to him at his funeral, the final of 13 services held in just a week.

Friends and some relatives gathered to commemorate his life at Distington Crematorium in Cumbria, also the venue for funerals for several of Bird's victims.

Those attending included his sons Graeme and Jamie Bird, their mother Linda Mills and uncle Brian Bird, but other family members stayed away, including his nieces Rachel, 28, Tracey, 26, and Katie, 19.

Their father David - Bird's twin brother - was his first victim in his shooting rampage across Cumbria on June 2. At last night's funeral, family friend Brian Spencer read a statement on behalf of Graeme, 28, and Jamie, 16.

He said: "Derrick was many things to many people. But to us he was just dad. To us he was a loving and caring family man.

"He was well known and well respected in our local community.

We will never understand what was going on in his mind on Wednesday June 2. Or why he killed and injured so many people.

"All we can say is that we are utterly devastated by his actions and deeply saddened by the legacy of pain he has left behind.

"Our love, thoughts and sympathies are with all the families that are suffering at this time.

"We will miss our dad greatly and hope that we, along with all the other families who have been impacted by this crime, can somehow move on and begin to rebuild our lives."

Bird's nieces issued a statement which read: "We send our love and support to our grandma, auntie, uncle and cousins on this difficult day. "As you can imagine this has been a very hard time for our family and at this present moment we do not feel physically and emotionally strong enough to attend the funeral.

"However, we would like to express our love and support to the rest of the family. …

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