Family of missing Highbury woman Jane Harrison ‘elated’ as killer convicted 18 years after disappearance

15:25 30 January 2013

Kevin Doherty was convicted of the manslaughter of Jane Harrison

Kevin Doherty was convicted of the manslaughter of Jane Harrison


The sister of a mother who disappeared in the 1990s has spoken of her “elation” after her killer was finally brought to justice.

Claire Harrison said she never gave up hope that Jane Harrison’s former boyfriend would be found responsible for her death.

Jane, of Poet’s Road, Highbury, went missing in 1995 aged 32. Her married lover Kevin Doherty, now 57, was the last person to see her alive.

On Tuesday he was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 12 years at the Old Bailey, following a painstaking re-investigation which began in 2010.

Claire, 44, told the Gazette she was pleased, but lamented that their devoted mother Dillis Harrison of Petherton Road, Highbury, who stepped in to bring up Jane’s children, died without knowing what happened in 2010.

She said: “I would have liked a murder conviction, but I’m elated to have got this far. At last it confirms that he definitely killed her. But my poor mum went to her grave never knowing what happened to Jane. She is the reason the children are stable now – my mum brought them up.”

“It’s been horrendous, but we have never given up,” added Claire. “It makes us feel better that justice has been done, but we will never rest until we find her body.”

Claire said the family even sought the help of psychic Uri Geller, visiting his house in the hope he might shed light on the disappearance.

Jane’s body was never found and the conviction of Doherty, of Cherry Tree Rise, Buckhurst Hill, was based on circumstantial evidence, in particular doubts over his alibi which was based on sham phonecalls he made to himself but claimed were from her.

Doherty had told police he thought she had gone off with another man. The court heard that he was working as a warehouse manager at the time, often hired vans and had a “volatile” relationship with Ms Harrison.

Jane was last sighted on June 15, 1995, shopping with Doherty in Wood Green. The pair had booked flights to Florida the previous day.

They were together for three years after meeting at a nightclub, despite Doherty being married with three children.

They had a son together, aged one, while Jane had another son aged 14 from a previous relationship.

Claire added: “My sister was a devoted mother, a wonderful sister and a very beautiful and caring person. Her family came first and her children were everything to Jane. I could not have got through this without my extended family and all the support we have had and the police have been fantastic throughout. They have persevered with it for 18 years.”

Latest News Stories

Members of the Ben Kinsella Trust meeting with Boris Johnson at the Finsbury Library to discuss knife crime in London

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has urged more stop and searches to tackle Islington’s knife shame.

Islington is lit up at Angel Central's festive extravaganza last weekend

Christmas lights switch-on events will bring festive cheer across Islington this month – with each one offering something slightly different.

Holloway Prison. Picture: Rebecca Naden/PA

Holloway Prison is to close, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said this afternoon.

Audrey Bailey celebrating her 90th birthday in the Mayor's Parlour at Islington Town Hall accompanied by her husband George Bailey and her daughter Sara

She was just three weeks old when her mother handed her over to strangers. But now, nearly 90 years on, former Islington resident Audrey Bailey has been welcomed back to her birthplace by the Mayor himself.

Islington trading standards officer Doug Love with bottles of counterfeit alcohol

A tough stance on sale of illicit alcohol and smuggled spirits in Islington is saving the treasury almost half a million pounds in lost duty every year.

Yesterday, 18:01
Khayerul Miah, pictured, and his brother have joined IS in Syria

The two young men from Kentish Town who left the UK to fight for Islamic State (IS) in Syria are former pupils of Acland Burghley School.

Yesterday, 15:10
An officer arranges flowers at the stabbing scene in Yoke Close

The 17-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in Holloway last night was found by members of the public.

Most read news


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder