Mourner pack church for murdered man

MORE than 200 mourners packed a village church to pay their final respects to a father brutally murdered during a recent car-jacking in South Africa.The funeral of Gary Toleman, 41, was held at the Church of St Peter and Paul in Lavenham, the village in which he spent his childhood, yesterdayAlthough he was living in South Africa at the time of his murder, Mr Toleman grew up in Lavenham and was his wish for his funeral to held there.

MORE than 200 mourners packed a village church to pay their final respects to a father brutally murdered during a recent car-jacking in South Africa.

The funeral of Gary Toleman, 41, was held at the Church of St Peter and Paul in Lavenham, the village in which he spent his childhood, yesterday

Although he was living in South Africa at the time of his murder, Mr Toleman grew up in Lavenham and was his wish for his funeral to held there.

During yesterday's moving service Mr Toleman's flower covered coffin was carried into the church by four pallbearers and was followed by his father Ted Toleman, twin brother Michael, fiancée Marlett Jordaan and other close relatives.

Addressing the congregation, Reverend Christopher Sainsbury described Mr Toleman as kind, generous person who was never malicious.

He added: "It was his wish to be brought back here to the village where he grew up and where he was married."

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The isles of the 15th Century Church were packed with mourners.

Mr Toleman was gunned down 12 days ago in a garage forecourt in Hazyview, two hours from Johannesburg. He was shot in front of his fiancée as four men attempted to steal his car.

Mr Toleman moved to South Africa to help run his family-owned banana plantation. His brother Michael returned to live in Bacton because of the rising violence in the country. His father also left South Africa in 1999 following the death of his wife Diana and his ex-wife and their three children also returned to the UK and live near Colchester.

Mr Toleman was still living in South Africa with his fiancée when he was murdered.

Police have recovered a bullet from a 9mm gun used in the murder, but say they have no new leads to follow and will be relying heavily on informers.

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