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Crowds gather as vigil remembers murdered Sunderland One Stop shopworker Joan Hoggett

Dozens of people turned out as Fulwell paid tribute to murdered shop worker Joan Hoggett.

Joan, 62, died after being stabbed at the One Stop store where she worked in Sea Road, on Wednesday September 5.

Mourners make their way up Sea Road

Mourners make their way up Sea Road

A vigil saw members of the local community gather pay their respects.

The group assembled at Fulwell Junior School before making its way up Sea Road to the One Stop shop, where the doorway was filled with floral tributes to a woman who was well loved in her community.

The Rev Gareth Phillips, from Fulwell Methodist Church, led prayers, before the group made its way to the green opposite The Blue Bell, for a further reading and the laying of a wreath.

High winds meant an original plan to light candles had to be abandoned, but mourners held up the lights of their mobile phones in silent tribute.

The Rev Gareth Phillips addresses the crowd outside the One Stop store where Joan worked

The Rev Gareth Phillips addresses the crowd outside the One Stop store where Joan worked

The Rev Phillips said the gathering had been an important step on the way to the community coming to terms with what had happened.

"To give the community an opportunity to remember someone they knew and to show that sense of Fulwell coming together is very important,” he said.

"Joan was very well respected in the local area and this is a way to bring everyone together and give them the chance to recognise what she meant to so many people."

Peter Curtis, co-founder of the Friends of Fulwell group, which organised the march, was delighted so many people had defied the elements to show their respects.

Joan Hoggett with one of her great-grandchildren

Joan Hoggett with one of her great-grandchildren

"It was an amazing turn-out," he said.

"Joan was highly thought of - she was a really kind and nice person."

Members of the area’s neighbourhood policing team were among those taking part and Chief Inspector Sam Rennison said all of them had been keen to be there.

"Any murder has an effect but this one has really impacted the Fulwell community," she said.
“It was really important to us that we were here to show our respects. Officers wanted to come down and show how they had been affected.”
*Ethan Mountain, 19, of Heaton Gardens, South Shields, has been charged with Joan Hoggett’s murder. He appeared before Newcastle Crown Court last week and is due to stand trial next year.

Chief Inspector Sam Rennison

Chief Inspector Sam Rennison

Members of the crowd hold up their mobile phones

Members of the crowd hold up their mobile phones