News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Aaron Chown/PA Wire
UK News

Bishop leads funeral after Leicester explosion

by Press Association

Mary Ragoobeer, 46, and her sons, Shane, 18, and Sean, 17, were pronounced dead after the blast destroyed a Polish supermarket in Hinckley Road, Leicester, and the flat above it, in February.

More than 600 people attended the family's funeral led by the Bishop of Leicester.


A cortege of 12 vehicles, including three hearses - one holding the coffins and a car carrying Mrs Ragoobeer's widower, Jose Ragoobeer - drove past the site of the explosion.

The procession then passed the English Martyrs' School, where Shane and Sean were pupils, before arriving at Gilroes Cemetery for a private service.

Family, friends and members of the public filled Leicester Cathedral on Friday, with many wearing football shirts in memory of Shane and Sean's love of Manchester United and Liverpool.

Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The blast, in which Leah Beth Reek, 18, and Viktorija Ljevleva, 22, also died, destroyed a Polish supermarket and the two-storey flat above.

During the 90-minute funeral service, the Bishop of Leicester, the Right Reverend Martyn Snow, said: "Today is not a day to speculate about causes or express our anger."

Tributes were paid to the three victims by tearful family members, and songs were played by a band from a church where Mr Ragoobeer is an active member.

During the service, Mrs Ragoobeer's niece, Shannon Ragoobeer, who referred to her as "Auntie Steph", said: "Auntie Steph was a cheerful, fun-loving lady who was full of life.

"Her smile would always light up the room and it was infectious. That made everyone around her happy, whether it was her funny jokes, her positive attitude or her big smile. She was a delight to be around."

Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Paying tribute after the trio's deaths, Mr Ragoobeer said: "Every day they will all be missed by myself, Scotty (Mr Ragoobeer's other son) and our family and friends.

"Our lives will never be the same. What happened that day has affected so many people's lives."

Leicestershire Police/PA Wire

Three men are facing criminal charges in connection with the deaths.

Arkan Ali, 37, Hawkar Hassan, 32, and Aram Kurd, 33, all pleaded not guilty to five counts of manslaughter and an additional charge of arson with intent to endanger life at Leicester Crown Court on 3rd April.

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email