The father of three children killed by a drunk driver who has been jailed for at least 21 years says no sentence can ease the broken-hearted pain he feels forever.
But Danny Abdallah’s main disappointment lies in the way our culture loves drugs and alcohol, he said.
“That’s where my frustration is, more than the driver.”
Samuel William Davidson was sentenced to a maximum term in prison of 28 years after Judge James Bennett said his menacing, dangerous and aggressive driving showed all responsibility to the road safety of others was abandoned.
The tragedy was inevitable, but the magnitude of the tragedy extended to the unimaginable, Judge Bennett said.
Veronique Sakr, 11, and her cousins, Sienna Abdallah, eight, and her siblings Angelina, 12, and Antony, 13 were fatally struck from behind and sustained such horrific injuries some family members left Parramatta District Court on Friday as they were read out.
The children had been walking to buy ice creams when the 31-year-old ploughed into them after his ute mounted a kerb at Oatlands, in Sydney’s northwest on February 1, 2020.
Mr Abdallah made an emotional statement outside the court on Friday, saying his heart would always be broken.
“Wherever he gets one year or 100 years, it won’t get them back. The most beautiful innocent pure hearted children were killed on 1 February 2020,” he said.
“We will all have our hearts broken till the day we take our last breath. And no sentence can help ease that pain.”
Bridget Sakr, whose daughter Veronique was among the children killed, said the sentencing outcome did not feel like a win.
“Our loss is permanent. But Mr Davidson’s loss of freedom is temporary. There are no winners from today’s outcome. Only losers.”
The professional truck driver was afforded a 25 per cent discount on sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter for the children he killed and also pleading guilty to three charges relating to the injuries caused to three other children.
One boy has suffered permanent brain damage.
Davidson had been sitting poolside with his housemates drinking Vodka Cruisers and beers, having his first drink about 7am before consuming drugs and driving on February 1.
He was observed by witnesses speeding through a red light, swerving anti-clockwise around a round-about, and driving at a maximum speed of 133km/h in a 50km/h zone.
After the crash, Davidson appeared distressed and was heard saying: “What have I done? … I have killed people … I am going to jail.”
Judge Bennett acknowledged Davidson suffered from ADHD but did not accept impulsivity that day caused him to drive, seen in his consciousness of guilt immediately after the crash.
Davidson’s letter of apology stated that he is heartbroken to have hurt such beautiful families by his horrid actions and that he would do anything to relive that day sober and never leaving the house.
Mr Abdallah thanked Prime Minister Scott Morrison, his wife Jenny, and Premier Gladys Berejiklian for their ongoing support throughout the grieving months, and acknowledged Davidson’s parents had also lost a child on Friday.
Davidson was significantly affected after his sister aged 30 died from cystic fibrosis, the court was told.
He will first be eligible for parole on January 31, 2041.