The grieving mum of a South Tyneside woman who was killed by her partner is aiming to get a peer of the realm to back her fight for justice.
Jennifer Finnigan has not been able to rest since her daughter Gemma Finnigan was strangled and stabbed to death by Daniel Johnson in September, 2013.
The killing came 17 years after Johnson murdered a man in a street attack in Newcastle. 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.
A domestic homicide review held into the killing revealed Gemma had been let down by a system in which a number of different agencies had failed to adequately communicate with each other.
The review also highlighted a number of missed opportunities by the agencies involved with the couple – and there were no official records about what Gemma’s family were made aware of over his previous conviction.
I never thought in a million years I would get this far, but people have been great.Jennifer Finnigan
A petition calling for a public inquiry into her death has gained hundreds of signatures. She has also received support from Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn.
Now, the mum is taking her fight for justice to London, next month, where she will meet Baroness Helen Newlove.
Ms Finnigan said: “I sent Baroness Newlove the reports I had received and after reading them she got back to me. She has arranged for me to meet with her next month.
“Since I’ve launched the petition I’ve had such a positive response from people, it just makes me feel as if I’m finally moving along a little bit, that someone in authority is going to take the time to listen to me.
“Nothing is going to bring Gemma back, but I can’t just leave it. Gemma was let down by the authorities and things need to change.
“I never thought in a million years I would get this far, but people have been great.”
Baroness Newlove is the Victims Commissioner for England and Wales.
“Her role is to promote the interest of victims and witnesses; encourage good practice in the treatment of victims and witnesses.
Her husband Gary was killed in 2007 when he was kicked to death outside his Warrington home after confronting vandals.
Ms Finnigan added: “This has given me a real boost and it’s brilliant everyone is getting behind the campaign.
“It is not going to bring Gemma back, but if stops any other family going through what we have, then it will be worth it.”
The petition can be signed by visiting www.change.org/organizations/justice_for_gemma