THE funeral of murdered schoolgirl Heather West marked the end of a ``terrible nightmare'', her brother said yesterday.

Mr Stephen West, 22, led a small group of mourners at a brief country churchyard service on Tuesday when the remains of his sister were finally laid to rest. He said yesterday: ``After laying her to rest we can now resume our lives.''

But the funeral is said to have caused a major rift in the family.

Ms Anne Marie Davis, daughter of Frederick West and stepsister of Heather, felt angry and snubbed because she was not invited, said her confidante Virginia Hill, co-author of Ms Davis's book Out Of The Shadows, which told of life at 25 Cromwell Street.

However a spokesman for the family said Ms Davis had agreed not to attend the funeral.

Heather West was the last of 10 victims of her serial killer mother, Rosemary, 42. The Gloucester housewife and mother of eight is now serving life for the murder of Heather, who disappeared in 1987, and nine other young women and girls, including her stepdaughter, Charmaine, eight.

Heather West's remains were the first of nine to be unearthed in a police dig early last year at Cromwell Street. She had been decapitated and her body dismembered.

All the victims, except for Heather, were reburied earlier at private family services. Her funeral was postponed until the end of her mother's trial. Rosemary West apparently wished to attend the service but was not granted permission to leave Durham Prison.

The funeral took place at St Michael's parish church at Tintern, on the Gwent border with Gloucestershire in the Forest of Dean, an area Heather West loved as a child. The service was conducted by the Rev Julian White.

Stephen West led the mourners, including his sisters Mae, 23, and Tara, 18, and Mr Peter Grose and his daughter, Tamara. Mr Grose is the publisher of Stephen and Mae West's just-published life story, Inside 25 Cromwell Street.

Also present were Rosemary West's solicitor, Mr Leo Goatley, and his wife.