Murder family’s torment

Helen and Ellie Perkins pictured in happier times SUS-141109-152624001
Helen and Ellie Perkins pictured in happier times SUS-141109-152624001

The older sister of hammer murder victim Mollie Haynes has said she is haunted by the little girl’s violent death.

Ellie Perkins, now a 27-year-old mother, said she is still devastated by the death of nine-year-old Mollie in 2005.

The Ocklynge School pupil was battered to death by Michael Hooker with a claw hammer as she tried to stop him attacking her mother Helen Perkins at their home in Cavalry Crescent. Helen survived the brutal attack but Mollie died of her injuries in a London hospital. Hooker, a father of twins who was living in Northbourne Road at the time, was jailed for 20 years after pleading guilty to murder.

He and Mrs Perkins had been in a relationship from 2001 until 2004 and although they had split up shortly before the attack, they remained platonic friends and Hooker had been helping with DIY chores on the day of the incident.

In a recent edition of Woman’s Own magazine, Ellie said she is still grief-stricken and blames Hooker for the subsequent death of her mother Helen, who turned to alcohol after Mollie’s death and died in April 2009.

She said, “Hooker was jailed for 20 years but no sentence would bring Mollie back and while our mum made a full recovery, she was emotionally broken. She set out on the road to destruction, turning to alcohol to numb the guilt and pain she felt.”

Ellie said when she fell pregnant with her first child the family hoped it would be a fresh start but tragedy was around the corner.

“I couldn’t even bathe my own daughter so haunted was I by those memories of splashing about with baby Mollie. And it was too late for mum. After four years of alcohol abuse her body gave in. I held her hand as she died aged just 45. Mick killed them both that night. I was heartbroken.”

Ellie says her daughter Una, now six, looks more like Mollie each day. “While it still hurts so much, it also brings me joy to see a part of Mollie in Una’s smile, her mannerisms and her kind sweet nature. Mollie would be 18 now and Mum and I should be guiding her into adulthood. But instead I watched them both take their final breaths – and that will haunt me forever.”