Pearn family struggles to move on

Natalia’s parents Alan and Kris Pearn.
Natalia’s parents Alan and Kris Pearn.

KRIS and Alan Pearn are struggling to move on from the death of their 27-year-old daughter, as every time they try to remember the good times, they are clouded by ongoing court cases surrounding Natalia’s death.

Natalia Pearn, 27, died instantly on March 24 last year, when the state’s Director of Public Prosecution Tim Ellis drove into the wrong lane of the Midland Highway and crashed head-on into her hatchback.

Ellis was found guilty of causing death by negligent driving last month.

However, he has appealed against the decision and the case has been left in legal limbo while the search is on for a Supreme Court judge to hear his appeal.

The matter has left Natalia’s parents struggling to find closure and feeling bitter and let down by the legal system and prolonged delays for justice.

‘‘We want a conclusion to it,’’ Mrs Pearn said.

‘‘It’s been going for 16 months. That is 16 months that Natalia can’t rest in peace.

‘‘We can’t get any closure, we can’t get any peace. It’s just cruel.’’

A few days after Natalia’s death the Pearns received a handwritten letter from Ellis, saying he was sorry and that he fully accepted that his car was in Natalia’s lane.

‘‘When we first got it, I did say to Alan, that poor man, he’s got to live with this,’’ Mrs Pearn said.

However, the fact that the case has continued to carry on has left the Pearns feeling like the letter ‘‘carried no weight’’.

‘‘There’s no doubt he’s sorry, but he’s shown no remorse,’’ Mrs Pearn said.

‘‘I wish he’d just man up.’’

Mrs Pearn said she found it hard to sleep since her daughter’s death.

‘‘I went and saw her [after the crash] because I wanted to make sure it was her,’’ Mrs Pearn said.

‘‘Her face was a hell of a mess ... and I’ve got to live with that vision forever.’’

Natalia’s only nephew, Ryan, 9, also has to live with the fact that he will never have an aunty or cousins on his mum’s side.

‘‘He keeps asking where’s Auntie Tails,’’ Mrs Pearn said.

Mr and Mrs Pearn have had to cancel and rearrange travel plans from their new home on the Gold Coast because of the appeal.

‘‘We were booked to come down to Tassie for the sentencing and we had to cancel it because he [Ellis] put in a vacate the date,’’ Mrs Pearn said.

‘‘We rang our lawyer this morning and they said hopefully it will be resolved soon, but when’s soon.

‘‘I want to give up, but I think if I do, I’m lacking as a mother to give her peace.’’

Hobart Supreme Court Registrar Jim Connolly said on Tuesday that there was nothing new to comment on regarding the search for a judge.

Ellis was due to be sentenced on July 22, but that was delayed due to a new judge being needed, potentially one from interstate because Ellis has worked with most of the Tasmanian bench.

Ellis wants sentencing delayed until after his appeal is heard.

The notice to review will be mentioned in Hobart’s Supreme Court on September 1.

‘‘At the moment that date is still in the diary,’’ Mr Connolly said.

Ellis remains suspended on full pay from his position as DPP.