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Home Dartford News Article
A year after an adored son, father, uncle and cousin had his life cut short, loved ones gathered to remember him in the spot where he was killed.
Dozens reminisced and comforted each other under the streetlights in Overy Street, Dartford, on Wednesday night to mark a year to the day when Kevin McKinley was gunned down and killed.
Born on June 30, 1980, Mr McKinley was just 32 when he died.
"I remember being told that night 'prepare yourself for the worst’, then ‘I’m so sorry Kev’s gone.’”
Standing with the rest of her family in the cold and the wind, his mother Pauline Ho said: “I lay awake every night trying to work out why it came to this.
“My phone rang at the time it did last year when I was told about Kev and I was scared to answer in case one of my other children were hurt.
“I remember being told that night ‘we are working on Kev’, ‘we are waiting for three surgeons to arrive from Kings’, ‘we don’t have much hope for Kev, prepare yourself for the worst’.
“Then, ‘I’m so sorry Kev’s gone.’”
Last summer Michaela Sargeant was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in prison.
Her partner, Lewis Wickenden was found guilty of assisting an offender and jailed for four years.
Mrs Ho added: “With everything that’s happened it really doesn’t feel like a year. We haven’t time to fully grieve.
“Will always have a piece of Kev in our hearts and thoughts and memories.
"But I still can’t believe we won’t see our baby boy again.
“While Wickenden will be released next year, and Sargeant will be out in no time and they will be able to hold their child, watch him grow up and become a man and they will see him with his children."
The nieces, nephews and cousins of Mr McKinley let off balloons and Chinese lanterns into the dark sky and laid flowers and pictures nearby.
Two of his cousins Leah Rose and Emma McKinley paid their respects in a shared tribute, which said: “Miss you lots Kev. You were amazing and always there for us. We couldn’t have asked for a better cousin.
“We love you lots, you’re gone but not forgotten.”
Mr McKinley used to go to his Nan’s house every Sunday for a family dinner and his uncle Charles said on the night: “Justice hasn’t been done, you should serve life for taking a life.”
Mr McKinley’s sister Paula said: “I find I can’t look at pictures of him. I didn’t see him much so in some ways when I look at them it’s like it’s not real and he’s still here, but obviously he’s not.”
His other sister Kelly said: “We’re still having trauma counselling because of what happened. It’s just left everybody so angry and bitter, and with no faith in the law.”
The family thanked Steve Beardwell who drove them to Maidstone Crown Court everyday for the trial.
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