'We just miss them so much. They were loved by everyone' - Family pay tribute to tragic wife and son after Stourbridge stabbings
'We just miss them so much. We were really happy. Now our lives have got a huge hole in them.'
The heartbreaking words of devastated father Peter Wilkinson who has spoken for the first time since his wife and son were stabbed to death at their home.
In an exclusive interview with the Express & Star, Mr Wilkinson has paid tribute to his 'absolute angel' wife Tracey and 13-year-old son Pierce and revealed the extensive injuries he suffered in the attack.
The 47-year-old, who is a managing director at Hill & Smith and Asset International in Bilston where he has worked for 17 years, was lucky to survive after being stabbed multiple times in the horrific incident at the family home in Greyhound Lane, Stourbridge.
Tragically son Pierce, who went to Redhill School, and 50-year-old Tracey died in the attack on March 30.
Last Tuesday Peter left the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where he has spent the best part of a fortnight.
He is now recuperating at a relative's home, with 18-year-old daughter Lydia, who was thankfully away studying at the University of Bristol when the attack happened.
The two – season ticket holders at West Bromwich Albion – were at The Hawthorns yesterday for the televised match against Liverpool where players and fans joined in a minute's applause as the big screen showed pictures of Tracey and Pierce.
Lydia was at his side when Peter opened up to the Express & Star and it was evident he is doing his utmost to remain strong for them both and the rest of their family who have rallied around them.
But he could not help breaking down when asked about his wife and son.
Fighting back tears he said: "We were in a happy family bubble, the four of us.
"Lydia was at Bristol University doing great. Pierce was at school which he loved.
"And my wife was an absolute angel. We had such a happy family life. We are good people.
"We always helped others. We are a charitable family.
"My wife did a lot of work to help other people. She wouldn't walk past a homeless person on the street without stopping to give them a sandwich. She was that type of person.
"We just miss them so much. We sit talking about it everyday. We were really happy. Now our lives have got a huge hole in them."
Lydia, who visited their home earlier this month to lay flowers as well as read the dozens of messages left by well wishers, added: "They were loved by everyone.
"They are irreplaceable. Just extraordinary people."
Revealing the extent of his injuries, Peter said: "I nearly lost my life. I got six deep stab wounds.
"I had a lot of internal injuries and was in intensive care for six days. It was touch and go.
"I had to have a vast amount of stitches, which are all out now.
"I was supposed to be in for a few weeks but I came out after 12 days. I am well enough to come out, I am just on painkillers trying to rest and recuperate.
"I have become physically very weak now. Going out and doing more than just a little bit is very hard. It is going to take months to recover."
While the physical wounds may heal the emotional scars of having his family torn apart will remain. But despite their catastrophic loss, both are keen to move on with their lives no matter how long it takes.
Lydia said the 'tremendous' support from their friends and family had helped them stay strong, while Peter added: "We are just taking things one day at a time, one hour at a time.
"The support we have had has been phenomenal. We have had cards from people we have never heard of.
"We don't know how we will move on but with the steely support of our friends and family me and Lydia will move on.
"We will find happiness again. It is just going to be a long, long road that we should never have had to take.
"We had renovated the home and it was our labour of love for seven or eight years.
"Our roots are in Stourbridge and we intend to continue to live in that area."
Aaron Barley, aged 23, of no fixed address has been charged with two counts of murder.
Peter confirmed he was known to them, saying Tracey met him while he was homeless and from then the family had cared for him on and off for the last 12 months although he did not live with them.
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