July 18 2017

Funeral of mother and son stabbed in their home

Choir sings Elvis classic 'Can't help falling in love' as 300 family and friends see mother, 50, and son, 13, nicknamed 'Pippin' buried in the same coffin after they were stabbed to death in their Stourbridge home

·Tracey, 50, and Pierce, 13, Wilkinson murdered in their Stourbridge home

·Mourners gathered for their funeral in Oldswinford, West Midlands, today

·Lydia Wilkinson, 18, paid an emotional tribute to her mother and brother

·Their father Peter, 47, also attended after surviving a stabbing attack

A choir sang Elvis Presley classic 'Can't help falling in love' as a mother and son who were murdered in their own home were laid to rest in the same coffin at an emotional funeral service today.

Tracey Wilkinson and her 13-year-old son Pierce, nicknamed 'Pippin', from Stourbridge, West Midlands were killed on March 30 in an attack which left husband and father Peter, 47, seriously injured.

Daughter Lydia Wilkinson, 18, who was away at Bristol University at the time, read out a poignant eulogy to her mother and brother at the service where family and friends said their final farewells.

Mr Wilkinson and his daughter paid tribute to their lost loved ones and on a card wrote 'We love you so much, you will forever be in our heart and souls. You're so beautiful, fly high. Until we meet again, love forever.'

Mourners were left in tears listening to Miss Wilkinson pay tribute to her mother and brother.

They said she talked about how close the family had been and had regularly gathered to watch films together.

Miss Wilkinson said her brother and mother had been 'as close as a mother and son could be and shared a true bond of love that could never be broken.'

She told more than 300 mourners how her 'gorgeous' mother, a champion ballroom dancer, had 'a beautiful soul' and was her 'best friend'.

Miss Wilkinson said: 'My mum was gorgeous, not only in terms of looks and fashion but she had a beautiful soul. She was an inspiration.'

Police closed the road for the hearses and mini buses which transported close relatives to the church down an extremely narrow road.

Following the fifty minute service, teachers hugged students overwhelmed with emotion as they exited the church behind family and friends.

A group of five; who are friends of the family; said: 'It was an incredibly good service and very emotional. How Lydia said what she did was amazing and extremely moving.

'The whole service just showed what a lovely family they were and especially close, they had always done everything together.'

Some guests were aware that a shared coffin for the mother and son had been arranged but others were surprised.

A friend of the family added: 'I thought that was a really lovely touch and a true testament to their love for one another.'

Church official Richard Hall said: 'It ran very smoothly and was packed.

'I thought it was a lovely touch with the school being here, they behaved impeccably which I let the head teacher know.

'Lydia spoke very well, calm and collectedly. She held her emotions in really well when speaking about her mother and brother respectively.

'She talked about the things they used to do together like watch films. You could gather from that what a lovely and close family they were.'

It comes after Mr Wilkinson, who survived six stab wounds, said he wanted the pair to have an 'uplifting funeral'.

Speaking earlier this year he said: 'Pierce was taken so young so it is not a celebration.

'They would have wanted people to be thinking of them, not necessarily mourning them.

'Black is not compulsory. Just because we want the funeral to be uplifting and not a dark ceremony.'

Mr Wilkinson, managing director at safety barrier firm Hill & Smith, also previously admitted he was struggling to come to terms with the loss but added his daughter had provided 'invaluable support'.

He said: 'I'm existing. I still get very emotional about it. Day to day I am getting through to hopefully a brighter place in the future.

'She [Lydia] has been a massive support. She is very strong. She was told to expect the worst so finding out I was going to live was an uplifting point for her.'

Aaron Barley, 23 and of no fixed address, has admitted to attempting to murder Peter.

He is also charged with the murders of Pierce and Tracey, but is yet to enter a plea.

Barley has been remanded in custody until a further hearing on July 19. His trial is expected to begin before a High Court judge on October 3.


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