Memorial unveiled to triple Cwmbran murder victims - Kim, Kimberley and Kayleigh Buckley
7:47pm Wednesday 18th September 2013 in Gwent news
LASTING TRIBUTE: Dai Parker places soil around one of the memorial trees at Tillsland, Coed Eva, to remember Kim, Kimberley and Kayleigh Buckley
THERE were emotional scenes today as friends and family gathered in Cwmbran to remember three generations of the same family, wiped out by a murderer one year ago.
Among them was Dai Parker, who laid flowers at the memorial garden at 15 Tillsland, Coed Eva, Cwmbran, opened in memory of his late partner Kim Buckley, 46, her daughter Kayleigh, 17, who considered Mr Parker a father, and Kayleigh’s baby girl Kimberley, six months.
'You'll Never Walk Alone' was played out from a small set of speakers by Kim’s son Shaun and Mr Parker said this was because both he and Kim were big Liverpool fans.
“I’ll never walk alone. She’ll always be with me I know that. She’s here now, she’ll be with me in this garden. God she was amazing. She’s here. Especially now," he said.
Shaun Buckley, Kim’s son and Kayleigh’s brother, spread the first earth over the three trees planted in the family’s honour at a special ceremony yesterday.
In the early hours of September 18, 2012, Carl Mills set fire to number 15, killing Kim, Kayleigh and Kimberley.
Mr Parker remembers of the last call he took from his partner of more than ten years Kim: “Kayleigh had been out getting some bit for the baby from town so Kim was looking after Kimberley in the house. She said she wanted pie and chips so I went to Page’s and brought it round.
“When I got there Kayleigh was sat on the sofa with the baby. She said ‘here, go sit on Grandad’s lap, it’s his turn.’ She was beautiful. I must have held her for five or ten minutes before she started wriggling too much and I had to give her to her mum,” he laughs. “As I left Kayleigh was pinching chips off her mum. That was it. Ten to six, the last time I saw, [Kim]”
Mr Parker wanted to give the girls space for a girly night in. After losing Kimberely’s twin sister, Kayleigh had found becoming a mother tough but Mr Parker said she was really coming into her own, “ I asked her how it felt to be a mummy. She gave me the biggest smile ever,” he says.
He went to his friend Paul Hughes’ house down the road in Belle Vue to chat. Mr Parker would lose Mr Hughes to cancer just month after losing his partner. It was there he made his last call to Kim.
In bed in his home just down the road, the other side of the Waterloo Pub where he and Kim met playing pool, Mr Parker was woken by Kim’s mum, Gwyneth Swain, banging on the door screaming that there was a fire.
“When I got there. Well, you couldn’t get anywhere near the place. There was absolutely nothing anyone could do,” he says. It was around 7am when the fire brigade confirmed to him his partner, the girl he considered a daughter and his granddaughter were dead. He says he was advised they were so badly burnt he shouldn’t see them.
Speaking about the man who murdered his family, Mr Parker said: “There’s an appeal pending I think. It feels never ending. If he ever gets out though, he better have a one way ticket out of the UK, because I will hunt him down. I will find him. My life won’t be able to begin again until is see it there in the paper ‘Carl Mills is dead. The electric chair is too good for him. Why should he be allowed to carry on?”
But it wasn’t Mills who was first and foremost in Mr Parker’s thoughts yesterday, it was his girls.
“I’ll always remember Kim, crying her eyes out that baby Kimberly was coming home. I can still see that now. She called me about 17 times that day. And Kayleigh. They used to give me Father’s Day presents. I said ‘you should give that to your real dad’ and she said ‘you are my dad.'"
“I wouldn’t have got through this without my family. Especially my nieces Kirsty Clarke and Natasha Walker and my sister Maria Penny. And Kim’s family We will be close forever. They have been rocks. Shaun, he’s been one of the bravest people ever.”
So a hard day and a hard year came to an end. “I don’t know when life will be normal again,” Mr Parker confesses.
Killer showed 'no remorse' for deaths
CARL Mills is currently serving a life sentence with a minimum of 30 years before he can be considered for parole.
The jury at Newport Crown Court in July returned a unanimous verdict that Mills was guilty of murdering all three of the Buckley family.
Trial judge, Mr Justice Wyn Williams said Mills was "incredibly controlling and jealous" and had condemned the Buckley family to "an agonising death" adding, "you have shown no remorse".
Mills was described by the prosecution during the trial as a jealous alcoholic who couldn’t cope with the attention baby Kimberley was receiving.
The court heard that he had bombarded his partner Kayleigh, who had met via Facebook and who was her first proper boyfriend, with threatening text messages including a pledge to burn her house down.
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