The beloved sister of Whitby’s murder victim feared her killer would get away with it.
Dawn Kibble, who with her husband George made the grim discovery of Julie’s blood-soaked body, told the Gazette how she feared James Allen would walk free.
She described hearing the word “guilty” as a “beautiful” moment after what has been a harrowing year.
George was unable to be with her to see justice being done on Tuesday as he was having chemotherapy treatment.
Cries of “yes” could be heard from the public gallery as the verdict was read out and Dawn said she had to stop herself from jumping up and down in the public gallery.
She said: “I can’t explain how I felt.
“I kept calm but just wanted to jump up in the court but you can’t do that.
“Unfortunately George couldn’t be there but it was lovely to hear those words.
“We thought he would get 30 years but when he said 37 years we were like ‘yes’.
“The more the better. It won’t bring her back but we feel we have got something.”
However, as the trial, which saw both Dawn and George come face to face with Julie’s killer when they each took to the witness stand, drew to a close, Dawn began to doubt whether Allen would finally get what he deserved.
Dawn, of St Andrew’s Road, added: “I got to a stage during the week when I thought he will get away with it.
“George was saying ‘don’t get like that’ but I was thinking he will get away with it – but he hasn’t.
“When you have never been through anything like this you don’t know the procedure.”
George was in no doubt justice would be done.
He added: “We are delighted with the sentence.
“Absolutely all along I thought he would be found guilty.”
The couple weren’t asked to give too much evidence about what they saw in Julie’s Church Square flat on that fateful day but Dawn told the Gazette it was George who saw the worst of it after she fled the flat screaming.
She said: “George went in first and I followed.
“I didn’t go as far as George went, so I did not see as much.
“He explained to me afterwards but I have said to myself, all I can see is those pink bedroom slippers.
“I am pleased in a way, I could not have gone any further.
“When George said ‘I think she is dead’ I just screamed and ran off, it was awful and I never want to see anybody like that ever again. Even talking about it I am filling up.”
Now the court case is over and Allen has started serving two life sentences Dawn and George, plus the rest of the family, including Julie’s son who lives in Preston, are faced with the task of carrying on life without her.
George said: “It’s difficult. You just sort of think Julie is going to walk down the stairs.
“It is just one of those things, you don’t believe it has happened really.
“It is something that should never have happened and would not have happened if he had not been out on bail to start with.”