Collette's family send heartfelt message to the people of Corby on anniversary of her death

'It's made this past couple of weeks bearable'

By Kate Cronin
Sunday, 28th February 2021, 9:16 am

The family of Collette Gallacher, who was tragically murdered by brute Adam Stein 35 years ago today, have thanked the town of Corby from the bottom of their hearts for the incredible support local people have shown them.

Last Monday (February 22) Collette's sisters Claire and Lauren Holmes launched a campaign in this newspaper to try to get killer Adam Stein on the sex offenders register.The brute, who is now 61, will be out of prison in weeks after a parole board cleared him for release. But because he committed the murder before the advent of the sex offenders register in 1997, he will not be on the register.

Since the launch of the campaign, Collette's family have received thousands of message of support on social media from across the country, and even from abroad.

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Claire and Lauren Holmes have thanked the people of Corby. Image: Alison Bagley Photography.

Their story has been covered by several national newspapers and was yesterday given the backing of two former home secretaries, Lord David Blunkett and Jacqui Smith.

Following the extensive coverage, Stein has now been moved to MAPPA level three which means he will be given the highest-level supervision possible

The family has always grieved for Collette privately and maintained a dignified silence on his previous release. But this time they decided to make sure that Stein is not allowed to fade into the shadows.

Divers were among hundreds of people who searched for Collette for five days and five nights. Image: JPI Media.

Today marks 35-years since Collette left for her short journey to catch the bus to school before she was abducted, raped and murdered by Stein. Just as they have this week, the people of Corby helped search for Collette for five days until she was tragically found dead at Stein's house in Ashley Avenue, just yards from her Cransley Gardens home.

Claire said that the whole family, including their mum Karen, had been given a huge boost by the overwhelming support.

"The love and support of the people of Corby has been overwhelming and has been one of the things that has helped us get through our anxieties of letting people into our grief,” she said.

"It's taken us by surprise. We all feel able to talk about it a bit more now."

Some of our coverage of Collettes' disappearance in February 1986. Image: JPI Media.

Lauren said: "It's always been a very private thing. We don't usually discuss it. Some of my best friends have phoned me since last week to talk about it with me for the first time.

"But the way this campaign has taken off thanks to the support we've been getting from Corby, from the Northants Telegraph, from Northamptonshire Police, Tom Pursglove and from so many other people that we don't even know has made the last couple of weeks bearable.

"We'd like to say a massive thanks to everyone for standing by us."

- Stein is believed to have offended before Collette's murder and anyone who believes they were a victim of his can call their local police force on the non-emergency number which, in Northamptonshire, is 101.