Hundreds of mourners turned out to pay their last respects yesterday to a devout Christian who was stabbed in the chest during riots in Birmingham three months ago.

Police said Isaiah Young-Sam, aged 24, became an innocent victim of racial tension after he was murdered just yards from his home in Lozells.

He was on his way back from the cinema with friends when he was attacked during the October riots, in which a police officer was also injured.

Three men have since been charged with Mr Young-Sam's murder.

At the time, racial tension in Lozells had soared due to allegations of rape between the Afro-Caribbean and the Asian community.

Friends, relatives, police chiefs, church leaders and colleagues from Birmingham City Council, where Mr Young-Sam worked as a computer analyst, packed into St John's Church in Ladywood, Birmingham.

He was laid to rest at Handsworth Cemetery.

Bishop Derek Webley, who led the service, called for peace in the community.

"We cannot bring him back to life but we can use this death to put an end to violence and prevent further deaths.

"There are tensions in parts of the city that we need to work at.

"But we also need to recognise how much work was already being done and how much good there is in our multi-cultural communities.'

Staff in Mr Young-Sam's IT department were due to hold a minute's silence as a mark of respect.

A wreath forming the logo of the council was also laid at the funeral.