News

Dad who witnessed toddler get crushed to death describes his unending pain

A father has spoken out about his heartbreak and battle for justice four years on from the tragic death of his tot.

Paul Black’s one-year-old daughter Pearl sadly passed away in August 2017 after a car rolled across a road and demolished a wall while fell onto her.

At the time the tattoo artist, who was once a contestant on the BBC TV talent show The Voice, was taking his daughter and her brother Ace to a park nearby to his mother’s home.

As they walked, a runaway vehicle hurtled towards them and crashed into a wall, killing Pearl. A subsequent inquest heard how the automatic vehicle did not have its handbrake “sufficiently applied”, reports Wales Online.

The vehicle was not in park mode and the brake was applied only “on two notches out of six”.

The family said they were unable to seek a prosecution because the vehicle’s motion began on private property before rolling across a road.

Feeling let down by the justice system 53-year-old Paul, along with his wife Gemma, have been calling for a change in the law so driving offences on private land can be prosecuted. However it has so far been to little avail and the legal loophole still exists.

Paul, who has since been diagnosed with acute post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, said for the last four years he and his family had lived every single day in “indescribable” pain.

He hopes sharing his story will keep his daughter’s name alive and show how something so tragic has affected his family’s life.

Paul Black at his tattoo parlour next to a picture of his daughter Pearl

“I want people to know that every day is a fight,” he said. “I am never going to let people forget about the tragic circumstances and how the law let me down because there was a loophole.

“I was diagnosed with PTSD and chronic depression. I’ve had EDMR treatment which means I have to take myself to the place and relive every single second of it.

“It’s in order for me to compartmentalise what happened because it’s in the forefront of my brain every day. Every single day I see the atrocities that happened.

“You can’t imagine what picking the wall up off your 22-month-old daughter felt like. It’s indescribable.

“They compared what I went through to SAS trauma but they are trained and they are prepared for what they might see. No training, war, or atrocity can prepare you for seeing your 22-month-old daughter being crushed to death in front of you.”

Paul was diagnosed with depression and PTSD after what happened
Paul was diagnosed with depression and PTSD after what happened

He said it was almost impossible for him to explain the emotions he and his family had been through but that he wanted people to understand that their lives would never be the same again. Paul, who is also a devoted father to son Ace, aged four, and three-year-old daughter Beatrix, said his main focus now was staying strong for his family.

“When people ask me how I am I’m never going to be able to say: ‘I feel great’,” he said. “I literally take every hour by every hour. I just care about my wife’s happiness and my children’s happiness because I’m never going to be happy again. I’ve just got to try and accept and get on with it.

“I can’t cry now. When it first happened I was walking around crying everywhere. I remember going into a shop around Christmas and picking up a Peppa Pig and I just fell on the floor. I’m at the stage where I just try my best to deal with every day.

“It’s just the single most horrendous thing that can happen to a father or a mother. Every day I try and imagine what my wife must go through from a woman’s perspective of someone who carried her in her womb.

“Then to have that beautiful, precious life for 22 months and then it’s gone. She was the most breathtakingly beautiful girl you’ve ever seen in your life and she was a right character.”

Paul said his local MP, Gerald Jones, “worked tirelessly” to get Pearl’s name read out in parliament in October 2020 but the family could not attend because of lockdown restrictions.

Though he said it looked promising that the law might soon be changed the family have since been left in limbo.

“Gerald Jones took it to parliament and it got heard and they agreed to have what’s called a first reading. We were invited to go to that and sit in parliament but we couldn’t travel because of Covid restrictions and that was frustrating.

“Even something as simple as not being able to go to parliament to represent my daughter and sit there and hear her name read out, that was a big struggle in itself.

“The first reading was [heard] and it was passed to have another reading. But with Covid and Brexit everything else gets put on the back burner. We want Pearl to have her own law, we wanted Pearl’s Law, but I don’t think we’re going to get to that now.

“We literally don’t know where we are with it at the moment.”

Paul said his life would never be the same without his daughter
Paul said his life would never be the same without his daughter

Paul said although every day had been a struggle he had found the coronavirus pandemic particularly challenging. Not only did his therapy stop but he also lost the premises to his shop, Pearl’s Tattoo Emporium.

He said: “I lost the premises during Covid. Tattooing is a hard enough business to do. You have to be in the right frame of mind to be putting stuff on people’s bodies that’s potentially going to be there for the rest of their lives.

“My social skills lapsed and I had to try and learn how to talk to people again. Your whole life changes in an instant.”

But recently Paul was luckily able to re-open his tattoo shop at a new location in Pentrebach. He said it was good to be able to focus on his job and will be taking things slowly as he continues to try and move forward.

He said: “I’m back to tattooing now. My mother-in-law said she had a space next to her in Pentrebach. I only opened it last week on October 8. It’s going to be a strictly appointment-only place with no walk-ins so there will be no pressure. As long as I can do one tattoo every day I’ll be happy.”

Paul said although nothing could make him feel happiness again as he did before Pearl’s death he is actively trying to move forward with his life.

He said he has found solace in acting – a hobby he abruptly stopped following his daughter’s death. He said it gave him a focus and an outlet to express his emotions.

Acting has been cathartic for Paul
Acting has been cathartic for Paul

He is starring in a filmed theatre production by his co-founded Merthyr -based production company Gurnwah Productions. The show is based on a play called Breathe which the company showed in 2017 just as the tragedy struck.

During lockdown Paul said he spoke with his producer, Anthony Bunko, about developing a character from the play into a new piece.

The screenplay, called Knuckles, will appear at the Redhouse in Merthyr on Friday, October 22.

Though the play is not about his daughter Paul said the play is biopic in a sense as it portrays a lot of the emotions he has felt over the last few years. His daughter Beatrix Melody, who has the same middle name as Pearl, also has a part singing on the background track.

He said: “I can’t use the word happiness but I have to try and get to that content place. I’ve literally tried everything – cold water showers, breathing techniques – but nothing works apart from being on stage or being in front of a camera.

“I have so much emotion inside me that it’s easier for me to get out there and pretend to be someone else. Acting has become a very cathartic experience for me. I like having that creative outlet.

“Getting out there and filming was the best three weeks I’ve had since she’s been gone. I’m glad I’ve had thoughts of Pearl and my children to spur me on. Her name always would have been up in lights, I’ve always said that, but hopefully mine will be up there for her.”

Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond – Sign up to our daily newsletter here.



Most Related Links :
todayuknews Governmental News Finance News

Source link

Back to top button
Native News Post