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Family's heartache as loved one is stuck behind bars

Arwa Waterton and Marlene Henry are two of the family members who came to support Kevin Henry who they say was wrongly convicted of murder 25 years ago.
Arwa Waterton and Marlene Henry are two of the family members who came to support Kevin Henry who they say was wrongly convicted of murder 25 years ago. Allan Reinikka ROK010517ahenry2

HE SHOULD have spent his 47th birthday surrounded by friends and family, cutting cake and opening presents.

Instead, Kevin Henry spent another day behind bars for a crime he says he didn't commit.

Although his family were buoyed by the support of over 30 people who gathered at the Fitzroy riverbank, it was another harsh reminder of all the time lost during his 25 year sentence for murder.

The rally at the Rockhampton Coast Guard building, formerly drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic Toonooba House, was a cry for justice.

Henry was imprisoned in 1992, after being found guilty of killing Lynda (last name omitted out of respect for the family) whose naked body was found on the northern banks of the Fitzroy River the previous year.

He remains in jail, having been refused parole again last month.

 

Kevin Henry being led away by guards during his 1992 murder trial. PHOTO: WIN News.
Kevin Henry being led away by guards during his 1992 murder trial. PHOTO: WIN News. Contributed

However, Rockhampton journalist Amy McQuire and human rights advocate Martin Hodgson believe they've found enough proof to justify an official pardon, exploring the case through the podcast Curtain.

Yesterday, supporters draped banners over the building where Lynda was staying when she was murdered on August 31, 1991.

Aunt Arwa Waterton and niece Marlene Henry said there had been a hole in their life in the quarter of a century since Henry's imprisonment.

"His life was taken away from him, his childhood, his adulthood, it was all taken away from him," Arwa said.

"He's doing time for someone else.

"My nephew has been locked up for 25 years of his life for nothing.

"The system here, let's just take a good hard look at it.

"It's 2017, let him out. We want him home for his family.

"There's no justice for Kevin. He should be out. All that time is lost to his family, his mum."

 

A banner calling on justice for Kevin Henry at the 2017 Invasion Day parade in Brisbane.
A banner calling on justice for Kevin Henry at the 2017 Invasion Day parade in Brisbane. Contributed

The media is restricted from interviewing prisoners, but Arwa said she had been in constant contact with Henry yesterday and he was "overwhelmed" by the community support.

She said it was wonderful to see the podcast, Curtain, attracting a worldwide base of listeners and gave her hope of a good outcome in the case.

But the day was also about Lynda, a mother of four whose family have been left without concrete answers about her murder.

Although her South Australian family were unable to attend the rally, a message was read to the crowd from her nephew.

"She had four sons who she loved dearly and they suffer every day due to this enduring injustice," he said.

"Our family have always felt though, that Kevin Henry was innocent.

"We know this because our family have experienced how the justice system treats Aboriginal people.

"I hope there is justice for my aunty Lynda so her spirit can rest."

Topics:  editors picks kevin henry murder rockhampton


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