Brothers rebuild lives after mum brutally murdered by dad in knife attack

Brothers Ceri Leslie and Nevan McFetrich, of Bradford, with Ceri’s baby daughter Jacqueline-Dawn

Brothers Ceri Leslie and Nevan McFetrich, of Bradford, with Ceri’s baby daughter Jacqueline-Dawn

First published in News by

Two brothers who listened in horror as their mother was brutally stabbed to death by their father broke their 17-year silence today and revealed they are rebuilding their lives in Bradford.

Ceri Leslie and Nevan McFetrich have spent almost two decades trying to repair their lives after witnessing their dad, Gordon McFetrich, knife their mum Jacqueline 16 times.

And today the pair spoke publicly for the first time since the chilling murder after finding out their dad had made a recent bid for freedom.

The pair – who both suffer from nightmares and flashbacks – said that, despite never being able to forgive him, they have vowed to try to rebuild a relationship with their jailed dad.

McFetrich, a former social worker, travelled from Aberdeen to track down his wife at a secret address in St Ninian, Stirling, in 1995 before smashing down the door of her room – two days before a crucial custody hearing in relation to Ceri and Nevan.

He then repeatedly stabbed his 33-year-old wife in a frenzied knife attack while Ceri hid in a cupboard in the same room and Nevan stood terrified nearby.

McFetrich, formally of Aberdeen, had discovered where his wife was staying after the reporter to the children’s panel in Central Region wrote to tell him of forthcoming proceedings – revealing his wife’s address in Stirling. There was such an outcry at the way he came to learn of the address that the law was changed to ensure the whereabouts of vulnerable children were no longer released.

Ceri, now 29, and Nevan, 27, were immediately separated after the incident and taken into care. The pair didn’t see each other again until Ceri – who moved to Bradford three years ago – tracked Nevan down in Stirling and brought him home with him.

Now Ceri, of Clayton Road, Scholemoor – who is now married with seven children, including seventh-month-old baby Jacqueline-Dawn, named after his tragic mother – said he was determined to build a family for himself, which he hoped could one day include his dad. He said: “I only started speaking to my dad again a few years ago. After he killed my mum he was sent to jail and Nevan and I were separated so I never had any sort of family life, until I met my wife Claire.

“Nevan and I were both put in care, which was not a nice experience, and I was moved about between various care homes and foster parents. Although I can’t forgive him for what he did I would like to try to build up some sort of relationship with him.

“If he was let out of jail early I would feel cheated because he still killed my mum. But I hope, once he has served his time, he can be part of the family.”

Ceri, who was 12 at the time of the incident, said the memories of the event still haunt him today and he suffers from insomnia, nightmares and anxiety. He said: “I may not have been able to see what was happening because I was hiding in the cupboard but I could hear everything.”

Ceri and Nevan were separated before the incident. Ceri had been living with his mum at a secret address in Stirling and Nevan remained in Aberdeen with McFetrich, now 51.

Nevan, of Chain Street, Bradford, who said he turned to drugs in his teens to try to get over what he had witnessed, said he had eventually learned to come to terms with the incident after joining the Catholic church.

He said: “I used to visit him regularly, around once a month after he went to jail. I just wanted to speak to him to see why he did it. He would never tell me why. If he is released I would want to have some sort of relationship. It would be difficult and we would have to work at it but I would try.”

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