Mother of woman killed by partner launches petition demanding public enquiry
Jennifer Finnigan, along with family friend Sharon Potts, have launched an online petition calling for a public inquiry into her daughter, Gemma Finnigan’s, death.
Within days of launching the petition it has already gathered more than 300 signatures, and the family hope to reach 100,000 to have the issue raised in Parliament.
The move comes after a domestic homicide review revealed a number of missed opportunities when it came to monitoring Gemma’s partner Daniel Johnson.
Johnson had met Gemma while on day release from prison, where he had been serving time for his part in killing a man – something the family maintain that they were never told the full details of.
The Ministry of Justice claims they were told the full details of his conviction.
Johnson had been out on life licence when he went on to kill Gemma, 24, in the flat they shared in Church View, Boldon Colliery, on September 13, 2013 in a brutal attack.
He was jailed for life after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Gemma’s family say be a public inquiry should be held into the circumstances which led to the 24-year-old’s death.
Ms Finnigan said: “I won’t give up fighting for justice for Gemma. Mistakes were made and I keep thinking, if things had been done as they should have been, Gemma could still be here.
“I know it is going to be a long hard fight but people need to be held accountable.
“When I was first given the review report I was angry but was still caught up in grief. But now my head is a lot clearer, and reading through the report, it just makes me annoyed. Why wasn’t he monitored more closely after he was let out of prison? There are just so many questions I need answers to.
“My daughter was failed by so many people.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “This was a horrific crime and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim.
“Public protection is our priority. A review found this case was managed sufficiently, but also raised areas for improvement that have since been addressed by the Probation Service.
“Serious offences are rare but each one is taken seriously and fully investigated, with measures put in place where lessons can be learned.”
Petition forms will also be available for people to sign at a later date.
The petition can be signed by visiting www.change.org/organizations/justice_for_gemma