Samuel Davidson sentenced to 21-years jail over 2020 Oatlands crash9th April 2021
His wife thanked Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for their ongoing support, as well as that of the Australian community.
“No parents deserve to go through what we just have been,” she said.
Veronique’s mother, Bridget Sakr, also wore badges of the children. She told reporters there were no winners from the court sentence – “only losers”.
“No court or sentence term issued can ever compensate for what we’ve lost,” she said.
“We all hope that Mr Davidson can use his time in jail, to really reflect on what he’s done, and truly understand the consequences of his actions. In particular, how the misuse of drugs and alcohol has devastated so many families and communities.”
In handing down his decision on Friday, Judge James Bennett read out the agreed facts to Parramatta District Court, in which he described the significant injuries suffered by the children.
Judge Bennett said that, on February 1, 2020, Davidson drank alcohol and consumed cocaine and MDMA with friends and flatmates from about 7am. About 7.30pm, Davidson drove a friend to a liquor shop where they bought Vodka Cruisers.
The pair then withdrew $150 from a shop before driving through Oatlands at high speeds, tailgating other cars and driving around a roundabout the wrong way before slamming into the seven children.
In the moments before he crashed his ute, Davidson was driving more than 130 kilometres per hour.
The court heard that the accelerator pedal of the car had been “fully pressed prior to impact” and an inspection of the vehicle indicated the break had not been applied.
Judge Bennett said Davidson had shown “no regard for road users”.
“The manner of driving was such that tragedy was inevitable, the magnitude of the tragedy extends to the unimaginable,” he said.
He added Davidson’s parents, who are “in their years of retirement,” lost a daughter to cystic fibrosis in 2009.
“Then in 2020, they saw the event that will take from them immediate access to their remaining child for a significant period of time,” Judge Bennett said.
In a letter to the family of the children, Davidson said he regretted his actions and wished he had “been sober and never left the house.”
He added he would never touch drugs, alcohol or drive again.
“I am so sorry for all of this… I know it will never go away,” Davidson’s letter said, which Judge Bennett read to the court.
He faced his mother and father in the courtroom and looked down while Judge Bennett handed down his decision.
Davidson pleaded guilty in October to four counts of manslaughter and two counts of grievous bodily harm by misconduct in charge of a motor vehicle, related to the crash.
In handing down his judgment on Friday, Judge Bennett said the guilty plea and remorse shown by Davidson had discounted his sentence.
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Laura is a crime reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.