AS SHE let the first balloon go in the evening sunshine, the mother of an Erith schoolgirl killed 10 years ago said simply: "Love you, Gemma".

Janet Robey’s daughter Gemma Rolfe was just 12 when she died in a car crash after the 4x4 she was travelling in was hit by a stolen van near the junction between Slade Green Road and Canada Road in Slade Green.

The driver fled the scene and no one has ever been charged over the Erith School pupil’s death after she had to be cut from the wreckage of the Suzuki Vitara in which her stepdad Dean Robey was taking her to a Guides meeting.

Every year family and friends gather at the same spot to remember when the youngster was killed at around 7pm on May 19, 2003, and around 100 turned out on Sunday (May 19) to mark a decade since the tragedy.

News Shopper has been running a series of stories appealing for anyone with any information on Gemma’s death to come forward, resulting in the Met issuing a fresh appeal for information.

News Shopper: Tributes.

Tributes to Gemma.

This year's anniversary balloon release may have had an added poignancy given the milestone, but the pain of that day feels no different for Gemma’s mum Janet, 46, son Kye, 28, and husband Dean, 49. 

She said: "It still feels like yesterday and it’s the same for Dean and I every year with no closure.

"You just can’t explain the feeling when your daughter walks out the door and doesn’t come back. It’s not fair, it’s really not fair.

When asked how she feels towards the person who caused her daughter’s death – a name well known in the local area – Janet asks in return: "Do you really want to know?

"I feel the same hatred I felt 10 years ago.

"For them or anybody that knows to keep quiet for this long and do this to this family is unforgivable.

"I will always come down here because I need to be here because this is where she died but I will only stop putting her name on the fence with her photo when we get justice."

The grandmother-of-one was delighted to see so many familiar faces, many of whom had written messages for Gemma on their balloons.

She said: "It just proves how much Gemma was loved which is what I have said all along.

"The sun always shines for Gemma."

Melanie Bingham Atmore’s children Casey, 19, and Alex, 17, used to play with Gemma when their mum’s met through mutual friends in Northumberland Heath 13 years ago.

News Shopper: Friends of Janet Robey.

Left to right: friends of Gemma's family Angela Mitchell, 46, Melanie Bingham Atmore, 44 and Laura Harding, 32. 

The Brampton Road, Bexleyheath, resident said: "I can’t believe it’s 10 years.

"It makes it all raw again, the injustice of it.

"If it’s hard enough for us standing here thinking about it I can’t imagine what Janet and Dean and Kye have gone through.

The 43-year-old added: "People need to remember Gemma was a person not just a picture in the News Shopper.

"It’s easy to forget that she was loud with big feet!

"She was friendly and good with little kids. She had a lovely manner."

MPs back campaign

Two MPs have backed News Shopper’s Justice for Gemma campaign.

Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce attended the balloon release on Sunday and wrote to Mayor of London Boris Johnson to press for a new appeal.

She said: "As a mother of two daughters myself I cannot imagine the torment Gemma's mother must have lived with as for the past 10 years she has been cruelly robbed of seeing her daughter grow into a woman.

"Although nothing can bring Gemma back the family have been denied the justice of seeing the person responsible caught by the police.

"Someone somewhere must no something and I would urge them to examine their conscience and come forward."

News Shopper: Teresa Pearce.

Teresa Pearce backs News Shopper's campaign. 

Bexelyheath and Crayford MP David Evennett added: "I sincerely hope that anyone who knows anything about the incident or may have seen something will come forward so that justice can be done for Gemma and her family.

"As a parent and grandparent myself, my thoughts and prayers go out to her parents on this anniversary of her tragic death."

The spot where the crash happened in Slade Green