FAMILY and friends of two Hampshire girls killed by their father will gather to pay their respects at their funeral this week.

Sisters Ellie and Isobelle Cass were smothered to death by their father David Cass in the caravan where he lived in the grounds of a Southampton garage.

Cass, an MoT tester, then hanged himself in Paynes Road Car Sales garage in Shirley after making a phone call to family telling them what he had done and that he loved them.

The 33-year-old also left a chilling message for the toddlers’ mum Kerry Hughes saying 14-month-old Isobelle and Ellie, three, had “gone to sleep forever”.

Police found the children's bodies as well as that of Mr Cass at Paynes Road MoT, Paynes Road, following a 999 call shortly before 7pm on Sunday, September 21.

Cass had been caring for the youngsters for the first time after an acrimonious split with Miss Hughes about four months ago.

Post-mortem examinations revealed they had died from suffocation.

Following the death of her daughters, Ms Hughes paid tribute to her “little princesses”.

The 20-year-old, of Elderberry Close, Fair Oak, said: “Everybody who knew my babies knows just how beautiful they are and that they are and always will be princesses in everybody's eyes, especially mine.

“I would also like to tell every mother that no matter what is going on or how busy your days are, to tell your babies how much you love them and what they mean to you with a hug and a kiss too, every day.”

The funeral will take place at midday on Friday at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Eastleigh.

Following the service a burial will take place at Ramalley Cemetery in Hursley Road, Chandler’s Ford.