Hike service

Funeral of slain teenager Cassius Turvey streamed live

Cassius Turvey was remembered at his emotional funeral as leader, who had an infectious laugh and enjoyed hip hop dancing, as friends and family paid their respects to the boy who will always be 15.

The Aboriginal teenager died after he was allegedly hit with a metal pole on his way home from school in Perth last month.

Due to limited capacity for friends, family and Indigenous elders, a live stream has been set up so people around the world can watch.

Cassius’ body arrived in a blue coffin decorated with white art by his niece and renowned artist Jade Dolman.

It included handprints from his cousins, his best friends and his mother Mechelle.

The first person to speak was Cassius’ niece, Saraia Radcliffe.

“It was my brother and my twin. We were both born on the same day, in the same hospital, but with different parents; however, our bond was unbreakable,” she said.

“I waited for him and he rushed to be born the same day as me…we were in tune together.

“Cassius is a kind and empathetic boy who had a beautiful smile and a warm laugh.

“He was helpful and selfless, just like his father.”

Saraia said Cassius taught her how to swim in deep water, how to play pool, and found ways to make her laugh.

She said they even celebrated their birthdays together, including the most recent at Holey Moley, followed by visiting the famous Whispering Wall in Kings Park.

“I never realized this would be our last time together,” she said.

“If I had, I would have done a lot more.”

Saraia said they had many common goals.

“We were excited to start our first jobs and wanted to get our driver’s licenses next year,” she said.

“Even when I got married, I wanted Cassius to walk me down the aisle.

“You will always be 15 and I will be broken forever.

“You were everything to me…I miss you and love you, Cassius.”

Swan View Senior High School principal George Sekulla also paid tribute to Cassius, saying he often goes out of his way to open doors for staff.

“The pain and sadness this (his death) has caused is beyond words,” Dr Sekulla said.

“When he walked into a classroom, he lit up the room.

“He had the biggest smile that radiated warmth and a lot of affection for everyone.

“Cassius was everyone’s friend and Cassius had so many friends.

“The way he was building relationships… was amazing.

“He was very charming, very positive, loved to laugh and when he talked to you it was like you were the most important person in the world.”

Other speakers described Cassius as a leader and “a true friend” with a “precious and generous heart”.

Another person talked about Cassius’ love of hip-hop dancing since he was seven years old.

“He was a really dedicated artist,” she said.

A rap song, which will be released soon, was also played during the service.

Forever 15 was layered with beats by Cassius, as well as vocals and recordings from family members.

KD Lang’s version of Hallelujah was performed later, during which the family members broke down in tears and were comforted by the fans.

Several people draped themselves over Cassius’ coffin and embraced each other, crying.

It was followed by a lengthy photo tribute that showed Cassius’ fun and sweet side with his friends and family.

Songs included He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother by The Hollies and Ed Sheeran’s Visiting Hours.

Troy Cassar-Daley also appeared via video to perform Make The Most (of Every Day With You).

He said Cassius’ death “should affect everyone in Australia”.

“Thinking of you today, Cassius. Lots of love to everyone out there in Western Australia,” he said.

The service ended with a prayer, then the pallbearers took Cassius’ coffin away for a private burial.

Family and loved ones then gathered in the rain with umbrellas as they surrounded the grave as the hearse arrived and the coffin was carried to its final resting place.

Onlookers watched in silence as a ‘reflection song’ was played before the coffin was lowered into the grave.

Cassius and his friends had just gotten off a bus and were walking along Patterson Dr in Middle Swan around 4.30pm on October 13 when a black Ford Ranger van reportedly pulled up alongside them.

Police said 21-year-old Jack Steven James Brearley left the vehicle and ran towards them, hitting Cassius with a metal pole.

He died in hospital 10 days later after sustaining serious head injuries.

Mr. Brearley has been charged with the murder of Cassius. He has not pleaded yet.

He was also charged with aggravated assault causing bodily harm and robbery related to a 13-year-old boy who was with Cassius at the time.

Police allege Mr Brearley hit the boy with a pole, believed to be the handle of a shopping cart, then stole the boy’s crutches and cap.

A GoFundMe page created by Cassius’ cousin, Michelle Wighton, has raised more than $710,000 through more than 15,000 individual donations.

Ms Wighton had previously reported that part of the funds would be used to cover the cost of Cassius’ funeral.

Vigils and peaceful rallies for Cassius have been held across Australia and overseas.

Cassius’ mother, Mechelle Turvey, met Prime Minister Mark McGowan last week and shared photos on social media.

Meanwhile, the tributes continued to pour in for the boy, even from people who had never met him.

“Although I never met Cassius, my heart broke when I heard, and I wept and wept,” one person wrote on the funeral page.

“He had his whole life ahead of him. From the bottom of my heart, I send my deepest condolences to Cassius’ family and friends.

Another person wrote: “We never met you, but we will never forget you. Our deepest condolences to Cassius’ family and friends. His spirit is felt in all our hearts.