A grieving dad has spoken of his shock after his ex-girlfriend was charged with their daughter’s murder.
Dean Bird, of Portland Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, said he had been left “crying his heart out” after 22-month-old Eve’s death in Cornwall in October.
And he said he was brought to tears again when he heard his ex-partner, Eve’s mum, Abigail Leatherland, had now been charged with her murder.
Leatherland, aged 26, of Liskeard, Cornwall, and another of her former partners, 31-year-old Thomas Curd, of Watford, Hertfordshire, have been charged with Eve’s murder and also with causing or allowing the death or serious injury to a child.
A Devon & Cornwall police spokesman said: “Police and ambulance were called to an address in Liskeard on October 5, 2017, at about 12.45pm, and found the child unresponsive.
“She was airlifted to Derriford Hospital, in Plymouth, but died shortly afterward.
“An investigation was launched by the major crime investigation team in Bodmin and the couple were charged on Wednesday, September 5.”
Mr Bird, 30, said he wants justice for his daughter.
Mr Bird, who owns A Touch Of Ink tattoo parlour on Portland Street, said: “I have been crying my eyes about it since I got the news they where charged.
“When the police told me, I couldn’t speak. I was sobbing my heart out, but I knew I still had to carry on and fight for my other kids.
“But her death does get me at night when no one is around – she meant everything to me.”
Mr Bird had an on-off relationship with Leatherland, living with her and Eve on Main Street, Farnsfield, for a time, and remained in contact until she moved to Cornwall last year.
He said Leatherland moved to Cornwall in spring last year “without telling him” even though he said they parted on “good terms”.
And while his name was not put on Eve’s birth certificate, he says he has “no doubt” she is his as “everything about her” looked like him, including the “same facial features”.
A petition to allow Mr Bird the rights to bury Eve has been signed by more than eight thousand people.
Mr Bird currently does not have the rights to bury Eve because he is not on the birth certificate.
He said he is hoping to “bring her home” as almost all of her family lives in the Mansfield district.
The petition needs ten thousand signatures to get a response from the government.
If they make it to a hundred thousand signatures Parliament will be forced to consider his case.
You can sign the petition here https://www.change.org/p/the-public-to-allow-eve-s-daddy-to-bring-her-home/u/23243318