Pearl is the main antagonist in the novel Dustbin Baby and its film version. She is a very sadistic, defamatory, vituperative, and opprobrious girl who bullies April in the orphanage.
She was portrayed by Sylvia Hodgson in the film.
April meets Pearl at the orphanage for the first time. The older girl who had hard life before, is supposed to be April's best friend. However, their "friendship" is only to the eye and Pearl actually bullies poor April all the time.
April admires Pearl's shiny teeth and says they fit to her name. She also mentions that they are perfect to bite her. Pearl never misses her chance to taunt April, disregarding it is a cinema or school. Although Pearl is older than April, she has problems with reading, causing the two are in the same class. There is no way to avoid her tormentor, because April is supposed to teach Pearl to read during time breaks. Pearl always runs to April and hits her head with the book. When they read, Pearl forms her own sentences which she insults her victim in.
The worst part of April's day is the bath time when she must take the bath along side with Pearl. She is usually only itched by Pearl secretly under water, but when Big Mo leaves the bathroom, Pearl starts her favorite game. She asks April why mermaids have tails and taunts her until she answers "to swim". Pearl then grabs April's foot and pulls, causing her victim to fall under water. She then pushes April's chest, so she can't reach the surface. The bully then waits until April isn't frightened to death and then pulls her out, only to push her back under water again.
However, scared April never says anything to Little Pete and Big Mo and pretends to be Pearl's best friend.
Later Pearl finds April's beloved paper dolls in her room and tears them into small pieces. She then watches crying girl and laughs on her for playing with "garbage". That is enough for April who starts chasing her tormentor. When they reach the top of the stairs, April pushes the bully down, causing her grievous bodily injury. Pearl ends up at the hospital with many fractures and April, terrified what she has done from, is sent to Sunnybank Children's Home for children with behavior troubles. She has never said anything about bullying and the paper dolls accident to anybody.