Graham McKenna family fury over killer Gary Finlay appeal bidA GRIEVING family today called for a change in the law as the man who murdered a devoted dad prepared to appeal his sentence.
Gary Finlay was given two life sentences last year – one for the murder of soldier Graham McKenna and one for the attempted murder of his 14-year-old son, Michael – after a frenzied street knife attack in Claughton, Wirral, as the lad and dad made their way to watch their beloved Everton.
The 46-year-old was ordered to serve at least 25 years but is set to go to the Court of Appeal on March 4 to challenge that tariff.
Gill McKenna, Graham’s wife of 20 years, says she cannot go to London to face the “monster” who took away the love of her life and “tried to destroy” her son.
But she is angry at the thought Finlay, of Alexandra Road, Oxton, could have years knocked off his sentence if appeal judges agree, as his lawyers are set to argue, that he wasn’t given enough credit for pleading guilty and not forcing the family through the ordeal of a trial.
Mrs McKenna, 41, said: “Where are my rights of appeal as a widow with two children, one of who was nearly killed by this coward?
“A 14-year-old schoolboy, stabbed 12 times but, thank God, survived, but now has to live with the nightmare of that horrendous day forever. Where are Michael’s rights?
“Finlay did not give my husband any rights to live.
“Life should mean life. If you take a life, you give up the rights to your life.
“The law has to change. He pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder but now he has the right to appeal?
“I am told this is just ‘the game’ that is played but we have already been to Hell and back.
“Now we have to fight to change the law so families are spared this extra heartache.”
Mrs McKenna has joined the Merseyside campaign group Families Fighting for Justice to put pressure on MPs.
Michael McKenna, now 15, said: “I’m going to keep fighting for my dad and for justice. Gary Finlay appealing is not justice.”
His sister, Amy, added: “No sentence will ever be high enough for me. But a court of law made a decision to jail Finlay for 25 years so why should he go against that decision?
“I cant go to see my dad or talk to him. So I ask, who’s got the biggest sentence? Gary Finlay a man who killed a father and destroyed an entire family? Or myself, who’s 20-years-old and without a dad?
“Where's my appeal against my life sentence?”
Finlay, who was once married to Mrs McKenna’s sister Debra, struck on Saturday, January 10, 2009, after building up years of festering rage. THE WIRRAL NEWS