THE family of a South Tyneside woman who was killed in her own home have spoken of their tragic loss.
Gemma Finnigan was 24 when she was strangled and stabbed to death at her home in Church View, Boldon, last September.
The tragedy unfolded at the property she shared with her live-in boyfriend Daniel Johnson, who was later arrested in connection with her killing.
A trial against the 32-year-old, who denies murder, was halted for legal reasons in July.
A new trial will be held in November with Johnson remanded in custody in the meantime.
Today, as members of the Glen Corner Trust prepare to take part in the Great North Run in Gemma’s memory, after the trust stepped in to support her family, her younger sister Kristi Allen, 16, has spoken of the heartache they face each day knowing they will never see their beloved Gemma again.
Miss Allen, who was three months pregnant with her first child, when Gemma died, said: “She was just the best sister anyone could have wished for.
“She had so many friends and everyone loved her.
“I was three months pregnant with Leon when Gemma died. She never knew I was pregnant. It’s just sad he will never get to meet her.
“It has been hard for all of us and, with the trial being halted, we just feel as though we are in limbo. We are all just trying to stay as strong as we can be.”
Gemma’s mother Jenny Finnigan and stepfather Terry Allen, along with her family, were visited by Glen Corner’s grandmother Pat McDougall who offered the help and support from the Glen Corner Trust after her death.
The trust was set up in memory of Mrs McDougall’s grandson who was stabbed to death on his 16th birthday in 2006.
Its role is to support families affected by knife crime.
Miss Allen said: “After Gemma was killed, the Glen Corner Trust got in touch with us. I don’t know where we would be now if it wasn’t for their help and support.
“When they said they would be doing the Great North Run and offered to run in Gemma’s memory, it really does mean a lot to us and it is giving us a little bit of comfort.
“As a family we are doing what we can to support the trust and have been helping to get sponsors for those taking part.”
Gemma had two other sisters, Sarah Finnigan, 27, and Terri Allen, 20.