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Funeral of Molly McLaren takes place at Gravesend Crematorium after Chatham Dockside Shopping Outlet death

Mourners have been paying their respects at the funeral of a student who died after a horrific knife attack in a shopping centre car park.

The service to remember 23-year-old Molly McLaren, who died at the Dockside Shopping Outlet in Chatham in June, started at Gravesend Crematorium at 11am.

Friends and family of the University of Kent student, from Cobham, was then due to move on to The Leather Bottle pub in her home village.

Molly McLaren
Molly McLaren

Rather than buy flowers, attendees have instead been asked to donate towards The Molly McLaren Foundation, which was set up in her memory to distribute money to charities that support people with eating disorders.

Miss McLaren had battled with bulimia and subsequently anxiety and so far the foundation has raised more than £14,520.

People at today's service have also been invited to wear bright colours or gym wear and bring along a photo of them with Miss McLaren, plus a flower from their garden.

Gravesend Crematorium and Cemetery
Gravesend Crematorium and Cemetery

It comes almost two months after her death, which an inquest heard was caused by multiple stab wounds to her chest and neck.

Ex-boyfriend Joshua Stimpson, of High Street, Wouldham, was arrested at the scene and has been charged with Miss McLaren’s murder.

He has been remanded in custody and will appear before a judge at Maidstone Crown Court on September 18 to enter a plea.

Molly McLaren wrote a blog after battling with anxiety and an eating disorder
Molly McLaren wrote a blog after battling with anxiety and an eating disorder

The 25-year-old will then return for trial on January 22 next year, after which the inquest into Miss McLaren's death will resume.

Police investigating the murder have also referred the matter the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Just a few weeks after Miss McLaren's death it emerged that she had been writing a positive blog about making the most of life, with the former Mayfield Grammar School student encouraging readers to aim high, do things they love, smile at people, try to find something good in every day, and “push through the storms to find your sunshine”.

Miss McLaren also went to North Kent College in Dartford.

Donate to The Molly McLaren Foundation here.

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