Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Leonne Weeks: Memorial garden opens for murdered schoolgirl

Garden with colourful plants and decor Image copyright Jade Youth & Communcity Centre
Image caption The garden was designed to "reflect Leonne's character and her life", organisers said

A memorial garden has opened at a youth centre attended by a 16-year-old girl who was stabbed to death in an alleyway in South Yorkshire.

Leonne Weeks was stabbed 28 times and her body hidden under a discarded sofa in Dinnington, near Rotherham, in 2017.

Shea Heeley, 20, who confessed he "liked killing", was handed a life sentence for her murder in March 2018.

The garden at the Jade Youth and Community Centre features artwork, including some created by youngsters.

Image copyright Leonne Weeks
Image caption Leonne Weeks was a hair and beauty student at Dinnington High School and "a big part of the community centre"

Sam Oldroyd, chief executive officer of the centre on New Street, said: "It's full of colour, it's full of life, it's absolutely beautiful.

"We've got lots of things in there that reflects Leonne's character and her life, to remember her.

"Leonne was a big part of this centre and I think she would've loved it."

Image copyright Jade Youth & Community Centre
Image caption Some of the artwork featured in the garden was created by youngsters
Image copyright Jade Youth & Community Centre
Image caption About 600 people were involved in the project

Mr Oldroyd said some of Miss Weeks' family had helped volunteers with painting and planting flowers and hoped the garden would "bring people together".

During a trial, Sheffield Crown Court heard Heeley told police he had "an urge to kill somebody".

Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Shea Heeley was jailed for a minimum of 24-and-a-half years

He arranged to meet Miss Weeks on 15 January in a secluded alleyway off Lordens Hill where he murdered her, before dragging her body a short distance beneath an upturned fly-tipped sofa.

Her twin brother Levi had described Miss Weeks as a "beautiful, loving and caring person who would never hurt anyone".

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