Meredith Kercher: Grief over ‘forgotten’ Leeds University student

Meredith Kercher. PIC: PA
Meredith Kercher. PIC: PA
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Murdered British student Meredith Kercher has been “completely forgotten” in the four years since her death, her grieving family said today.

The 21-year-old’s sister, Stephanie Kercher, expressed regret that the media coverage of the case had become focused solely on Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, who were convicted of the killing in the Italian town of Perugia in 2007.

Speaking on Italian television show Porta a Porta, she said: “In these four years, Meredith has been completely forgotten. But we need to find justice for her, we need to find the truth for her.

“There’s not much of Meredith in the media. There aren’t photos of her in the media. The focus has completely moved away from Meredith to Amanda and Raffaele.

“And Meredith was so lovely - an intelligent, kind, caring person.”

And, her sister admitted, she herself had grown scared of forgetting her.

“I’m scared of forgetting what she looked like,” she said. “I’m scared of forgetting how she was to cuddle or what her hands were like, or anything really.”

Her mother, Arline Kercher, described her daughter as a “very loving child, a very sweet girl”.

She said: “She was always ready to help you. I will never, ever forget her.”

The family, who rarely give interviews to the media, were speaking just before American Knox, 24, and Italian Sollecito, 26, learn whether they will be freed from prison or have their convictions upheld.

The former lovers have spent almost a year appealing after prosecutors convinced a jury in their 2009 trial that the pair had murdered Miss Kercher in her bedroom on her year abroad after a bungled sex game.

They are returning to court in Perugia today for the start of the closing arguments in the appeal process. The verdict is expected to come some time around the end of the month or the start of October.

Knox’s family hope that a review of the DNA evidence used in the original trial - which indicated it may have been flawed - will help persuade the court that her conviction should be overturned.

University of Leeds student Miss Kercher, from Coulsdon in Surrey, was found dead on November 2, 2007 in her bedroom at the house in the Umbrian hilltop town she shared with Knox and others.

Her throat had been slit and her semi-naked body was partially covered by a duvet.

Knox, also studying in the town, was sentenced to 26 years’ imprisonment and Sollecito to 25, but both have strenuously protested their innocence from behind bars.

Ivory Coast-born drifter and small-time drug dealer Rudy Guede was also jailed for the murder after being prosecuted in a separate, fast-track trial.

Mrs Willsher's uncle, Euan Hilton, delivered the statement outside Bradford Crown Court.

Full statement of Jodie Louise Willsher's family