A SEA of pink stretched before Poole Crematorium this afternoon as family and friends of mum-of-four Samantha Henderson gathered for her funeral.

Hundreds of people turned up to celebrate the 25-year-old's life, which was tragically cut short in January this year.

Bournemouth Echo:

At the request of Samantha's mum, Janelle, all the guests wore something pink for the service, while her body was dressed in cerise, with petals in the coffin.

Opening the service, the Reverend John Taylor paid tribute to "a very beautiful young lady, who had her whole life before her", noting that her death had "touched many hearts" and "brought together whole communities".

The procession entered the chapel to the theme song from the movie Braveheart, titled 'Life without freedom is no life at all', and music during the service included songs by Michael Jackson, DJ Fresh and Kelly and Ozzy Osbourne.

Mum Janelle said the service and wake were intended to act as life events her daughter, from Corfe Castle, was never able to celebrate.

"She never got to have her school prom, so she is in a cerise pink gown, tiara and shoes to match," she said.

"We have got petals down and her wake is very much like a wedding reception because she never got to get married.

"I don't really want sadness even though it is a sad day, there are going to be tears.

"We are going to stay strong for Sam because this is her day."

Sam's two young daughters, aged five and seven, attended the service while her sons, aged one and two, were looked after by foster carers.

At the wake, at the Labour Club in Hamworthy, there were balloons, flowers and glasses of Prosecco for guests.

"She was a very special woman," said Mrs Henderson.

"The many people here today in their pink are a testament to that."

Sam's disappearance and death sent shock waves through the community.

She was last seen collecting her children from the village primary school on January 21, but sadly her body was found by police nine days later in the lake near Ham Common in Hamworthy.

Her partner Dominic Isom, 27, was charged with her murder and has pleaded not guilty to the offence.