BALLOONS with messages of hope were released in memory of a murdered Oxford musician.

The children of Aaron Buron sent up messages of love on multi-coloured balloons to remember their dad.

Mr Buron, who was a hip-hop artist known as AZ, was stabbed to death by 18-year-old Haydan O’Callaghan in St Martin’s Road in Rose Hill, Oxford, on Saturday, March 31.

More than 20 close friends and family gathered at his graveside at Wolvercote Cemetery on Saturday for a service.

They said prayers and sang hymns, and releasedmore than 50 balloons. The balloon release had been planned at his funeral at the James Street Church in East Oxford in April, but was put off because of rain.

Mr Buron’s older sister Jemma Buron said: “We wanted to let off balloons on the funeral day and wanted the kids to be a part of it. To the kids, heaven is up there so they are sending something up to it. The children obviously miss him – and we will probably do a balloon release once a year on his birthday.”

Some of the balloons had messages on them. One written by Miss Buron said: “To my big bro, see you in heaven, put the kettle on for me.”

Others written by his two children – Aaron Jay, seven, and Corey, two – had a simple “To Daddy – Love You” message.

Other members of the family who could not make the service were involved in another balloon release which took place at the same time at Wellsborough Market in Leicestershire.

Mr Buron’s own music was played in the car as the family prepared to leave the cemetery.

One of the most poignant tracks is called Tears – and was written as a warning about the dangers of knife crime. Miss Buron added: “The track is about the effects of knife crime – it has hit this family really hard and because Aaron had a lot of family it has had a large impact. It is hard to understand why it happened.

“Coming here makes the children feel better, it is a comfort.”

* O’Callaghan, of Saunders Road, Oxford, was jailed for life on October 8 after a week-long trial and ordered to spend at least 21 years in prison.