A grieving mum determined to seek justice over her daughter’s death as she meete with national domestic violence charity Refuge.
Jennifer Finnigan is in London, today, to meet Baroness Helen Newlove as she continues to fight for a public inquiry into her daughter Gemma’s death.
She feels the 24-year-old, killed by her partner Daniel Johnson in September 2013 at their Boldon Colliery home, was let down by a number of agencies who failed to adequately communicate with each other.
While in the capital, Ms Finnigan will also meet with domestic violence charity Refuge.
The charity is lobbying for a nationwide public inquiry into the response of state agencies to domestic violence.
The killing came 17 years after Johnson murdered a man in a street attack in Newcastle as a teenager. He had been out on licence when he met Gemma.
Ms Finnigan has always maintained she was not made aware of the full scale of Johnson’s past when she was visited by a probation officer following the start of the couple’s relationship.
The Ministry of Justice claims they were told the full details of his conviction.
She said: “I’m really nervous about it all. I’ll be meeting the charity and its ambassador for domestic violence before meeting the Baroness.
“I know what I want so I am quite focused. This is a big deal for me and hopefully these meetings will give me the direction I need to take my fight further.
“I’m so grateful for the time the charity and the Baroness are giving me. This is all I’ve ever wanted, was to be heard and to get justice for my Gemma.
“There are people who failed her and there needs to be a public inquiry into her death so this doesn’t happen to another family.
“From the start it was as if it was all about him, what he wants and his needs. What about my Gemma? What about her right to live?”
Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Gemma Finnigan. Two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in England and Wales. Gemma’s death is yet another tragic addition to the horrific death toll taken by domestic violence. My thoughts are with her family and particularly with her mother, Jennifer. To lose a child in this way is horrific enough, but to lose a child when you feel more could have been done to protect them is unbearable.”
An online petition is calling for a public inquiry into her death. To sign visit www.change.org/organizations/justice_for_gemma
Anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse or knows someone who is and would like some support visit refuge.org.uk