More than 150 people attended a candle-lit vigil in Scarborough’s South Bay this evening to remember tragic teenager Michael Graham who was stabbed to death.
His friends and family joined members of the church and the community in lighting candles on the beach in memory of the 19-year-old, who was known by many as Angel.
More than 80 flickering lanterns lit up the beach at dusk and messages were etched into the sand, including one that said ‘Sheepy love you RIP’.
Scarborough vicar, Rev Samantha Foster, who organised the memorial, said Michael’s death had sent shock waves across the town.
“We have got his family and friends here tonight who are obviously very shocked,” she said. “I just felt that it was important for the church to react to the tragedy that happened last weekend. We wanted to offer something on the beach, rather than just in the local churches, for people of faith or non-faith to light a candle for all those affected.
“People are shocked and I think we are just responding to that and bringing people of all ages together.”
Mourners included volunteers from Scarborough’s Street and Youth Angels.
The chairman of Street Angels, Kingdom Faith church leader Paul Abell, said: “We wanted to show our support, not just for Michael’s family, but for all the families affected by this. A lot of people have been deeply affected.”
Youth Angels co-ordinator Dan Abell added: “We work with a lot of young people affected by this situation and it’s making sure they get an outlet and that they feel they can talk to people. It’s about helping them get through a difficult situation.”
Scarborough councillor Janet Jefferson described the event as “very emotional”.
“I think it’s a moving experience with so many people attending and my thoughts are with the families concerned,” she said.
“It’s a very emotional event for Scarborough and I think people are shocked by what’s happened. Working extensively with youths as I do, it’s tragic.
“I think there has been a numbness in a way and there’s an air of sadness that it should have happened in such a peaceful place.”
Lizzie Howe, 20, lit a candle with friends from Scarborough’s Hull University Campus.
She said: “We didn’t know him but I think it’s right to stand in unity with other people and agree that it was an awful thing that happened, and whether we knew him or not, we are all here to support him. It’s something that’s bringing people together and helping them mourn.”
Michael and a 17-year-old were stabbed during an incident near Olympia Leisure, in Foreshore Road, just over a week ago.
A 16-year-old has been charged with murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and is due to appear at Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday.