The mother of two girls murdered by their father wept today at a funeral service held for her two “angels”.
Sisters Ellie, three, and Isobelle Cass, 14 months, were smothered to death by their father David Cass in the caravan where he lived in the grounds of a garage in Southampton, Hants.
Cass, 33, an MoT tester, then hanged himself in Paynes Road Car Sales garage in Shirley after making a phone call to family telling them what he had done and that he loved them.
He also left a chilling message for the toddlers’ mum Kerrie Hughes saying Isobelle and Ellie had “gone to sleep forever”.
The two small coffins, red with yellow lining for Ellie and pink with purple lining for Isobelle, were taken to the Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Eastleigh by a carriage drawn by two white horses.
On top of the glass-sided carriage were flowers spelling Princess for Ellie and Angel for Isobelle.
As the coffins were carried into the church by the girls’ uncles, their favourite song Rock This Party by Bob Sinclair was played.
During the “Service of Angels”, led by Father Michael Dennehy, prayers were said for the two girls.
Father Michael said in his sermon: “It is said that the price we pay for loving someone who has been tragically taken away from us is the deep pain of grief.
“I have no doubt that our two little angels Ellie and Isobelle are safe together in God’s company in that special place prepared for them in heaven.
“Kerrie, you have two angels now watching over you. In many ways they have become your guardian angels.”
A prayer was also said for Mr Cass, asking for the “forgiveness of his sins that caused so much pain”.
Family friend Lisa Keeling read a poem she had written in memory of the two girls.
The poem started: “Please don’t tell me their time has come, little Ellie and Belle so very young”, and ended: “Good night, God bless beautiful girls. Rest in peace, young Ellie and Isobelle.”
Following the service, a private burial was held at Ramalley Cemetery in Hursley Road, Chandler’s Ford.
Miss Hughes has said that the two girls would be buried in their pyjamas with a torch placed beside Ellie and a dummy and blanket next to Isobelle.
On Wednesday, Miss Hughes attended the funeral of Mr Cass at Christ Church in Freemantle, Southampton. She took a simple bouquet of flowers to be placed at his graveside.
Police found the children’s bodies as well as that of Mr Cass, following a 999 call shortly before 7pm on Sunday, September 21.
Cass had been caring for the youngsters for the first time after an acrimonious split with Miss Hughes about four months before.
Post-mortem examinations showed they had died from suffocation.
Miss Hughes, 20, of Elderberry Close, Fair Oak, paid tribute to her “little princesses” after their deaths.
“Everybody who knew my babies knows just how beautiful they are and that they are and always will be princesses in everybody’s eyes, especially mine.
“I would also like to tell every mother that no matter what is going on or how busy your days are, to tell your babies how much you love them and what they mean to you with a hug and a kiss too, every day.”
Miss Hughes said that since the tragedy she had moved out of her home and was living with her mother Lynne, 38, and grandmother Shirley, 63.
Speaking of Mr Cass, Miss Hughes told the Daily Mirror that he had been a “loving father” and she could not understand his actions.
She said: “The only way I can explain what he did is that he couldn’t be apart from the girls.
“I still can’t reconcile the way he was such a loving dad with what he did.
“If I could see him again I would kill him myself. I can never forgive him. Ellie and Bel will never learn new words, go to school, or have another Christmas or birthday.”