Mourners have gathered for the funeral of a family of six originally from Birmingham who were killed in a motorway crash in Cheshire.

David and Michelle Statham and their four children, Reece, 13, Jay, nine, Mason, 20 months, and 10-week-old Ellouise died when their people carrier was involved in a five-car pile up between junctions 16 and 17 on the M6 northbound on October 20.

Chef Mr Statham, 38, and his 33-year-old wife were returning home to Llandudno after visiting relatives in Birmingham when they were involved in the crash near Sandbach.

Four coffins were taken into Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic church in Llandudno. Jay's coffin was decorated like a Tardis. Reece's coffin was painted in the colours of Aston Villa football club.  It is understood Ellouise is being cremated with her father and Mason with his mother.

Some family members stayed with the coffins and held a vigil in the church overnight. Around 200 people packed inside the church for the service, conducted in both English and Welsh.

Mr Statham's mother, Angela, and Michelle's parents, Carole and Peter Hagans, were supported by friends and family from Birmingham along with friends of the couple from Llandudno and classmates of the children, representatives of the emergency services and the local community.

A further 150 people stood outside the church and listened to the Mass on a loudspeaker. At the altar, flowers spelled out the names Michelle and Dave. The four coffins were draped in the English and Welsh flags.

The service was led by the Bishop of Wrexham, Bishop Edwin Regan, and parish priest of Our Lady, Father Antony Jones. The Bishop began by offering his "deep and great sympathy" to the Stathams' families.

Meanwhile, a Portuguese lorry driver has appeared at crown court charged with six counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Paulo Jorge Nogueira da Silva, 46, who lives in Calle Romero, Tutana, Murcia, in Spain, appeared before Chester Crown Court.
During the short hearing he was joined by an interpreter in the dock and spoke only to confirm his name.

A plea and case management hearing will take place on January 13. The defendant has been remanded in custody.