Gemma, a high-flying accountant who had just graduated with a first class honours degree, was trying to end the two-and-a-half-year relationship she had had with Andrew Brown, the manager of the Tesco’s Five Ways outlet on Broad Street in Birmingham.
Brown, who was eleven years Gemma's senior, had met and seduced her two years beforehand, when she was a hard-up student, working part-time in his store. A family friend said:
"She was going through a busy part of her life and wanted some space. Whatever it was she told him he clearly found difficult to accept."The day before her death, she had phoned Brown and told him that, studying hard as she was for her professional exams, she needed more time to herself.
Brown repeatedly called her parents begging them to convince her not to end the relationship and, tragically, in an attempt to calm him down, she agreed to a meet the following morning. As he was phoning the Newman home and convincing Gemma to see him, Brown was seen buying petrol and cans on two separate occasions.
Fifteen minutes after leaving her home the following day, she drew up at the prearranged place just off the M6. Witnesses reported seeing them arguing in her Ford Escort immediately before Brown launched a frenzied attack on the woman who had dared to 'want some space' which didn't include him in it.
He stabbed Gemma seven times and then poured the petrol he had bought all over the object of his affection and set it alight. She was, probably, still alive at this stage. Det Chief Inspector Ron Winch said:
"Gemma had her whole life in front of her. She was only 21. For her to die in such tragic circumstances at the hands of a man she should have been able to trust is appalling."Which statement is true and not quite so true in equal measure.
It's obvious that, for a lovely, intelligent, young woman like Gemma to have died in such a terrible way is 'appalling.' But for a Detective Chief Inspector to suggest that she 'should have been able to trust' a man like Brown is pretty wide of the mark.
Winch knows what it's like down there on the street. He knows what the Afro-Carribean is capable of when thwarted. He knows how much more murderous they are than us. He knows how much less restraint they are liable to apply to their emotions when they get upset. He knows how much more likely they are to blame others for anything that goes awry in their lives.
Winch sees this all the time. He experiences it all the time. For him to toe the party and propaganda line and imply that a man like Brown ought to have been as capable of accepting his lover's rejection in as adult a way as the average English bloke was very wrong.
It is commonplace deceit like this that allows unsophisticated and gullible young women to become involved with animals like Brown in the first place. As long as constabulary jobsworths like Winch refuse to tell the Gemmas how it really is, tender-hearted and well-meaning, young English girls will continue to die at the hands of non-native men they innocently assumed they understood and could control.
Unfortunately for Brown, he wasn't just insanely petulant and vengeful, he was also very, very stupid.
As he set light to the petrol meant to blot out all trace of his crime and the lover who had dared to reject him, he got caught up in the blaze himself and died at the scene.
Here's a parliamentary offering from Mike O'Brien, one of the greasiest of Blairite toadies and Gemma's MP at the time:
"THE GOVERNMENT IS PROFOUNDLY COMMITTED TO... THE CELEBRATION OF DIVERSITY. WE ARE A MULTI-CULTURAL SOCIETY... Anti-racism is… is about our future… We must make Britain a success as a multicultural society… BRITAIN IS A MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY. We are not yet a success as a multicultural society…An on-message little jobsworth, isn’t he?
THE GOVERNMENT ARE DETERMINED TO MAKE BRITAIN A BEACON TO THE WORLD AS A SUCCESSFUL MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY… We have come a long way in the past 25 years since the RACE RELATIONS LEGISLATION.
WE BENEFIT FROM THE DIVERSITY IN OUR CULTURE and the success of our ethnic minorities in the professions, academia, business and, indeed, politics… Many ethnic minority people have succeeded and contributed enormously to this country. BRITAIN IS STRONGER BECAUSE IT IS A MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY."(House of Commons, 9 March 2000)
Hey, Mike! When you talk about how ‘we benefit from the diversity in our society,’ which ‘we’ are you talking about? You can’t be talking about Gemma because it was your ‘diversity’ that killed her. And you can’t be meaning all the other British girls who have been murdered, raped, gang-raped, introduced to drugs, prostituted and otherwise brutalised by your ‘successful multicultural society,’ can you? And you’re definitely not talking about me, who knows what the game really is. So who exactly is it that benefits? Who is it that should be celebrating?
People like you? And your immigrant footsoldiers?
Oh, right. The PC Crowd and the Andrew Browns.
Know what you mean, Mike. I really do get it now.
Needless to say, O'Brien never mentioned Gemma in the Commons. He was, however, happy to talk about Stephen Lawrence, even though Stephen wasn't his constituent.
Gemma is pictured below alongside the man who murdered her.
On 7 April 2006, the BBC told us that the police had found a burning car with the body of a young woman in it.
Alongside the car, we were told that the police had also discovered a man 'lying dead in the gutter.'
Which was a fitting place for Andrew Brown to depart this life, don't you think?