Mum prays in court as killer driver jailed

·3-min read

Leila Abdallah knelt down in court and prayed before the drunk driver responsible for killing her three children and their cousin was sentenced to significant jail time.

Ms Abdallah had spotted a cross in front of where she was seated in Parramatta's District Court and was also on her knees after Samuel William Davidson was jailed for at least 21 years.

She says faith helped her forgive, as do most other family members affected by the horrific tragedy that killed four young children, and seriously injured three others, including one boy who suffered permanent brain damage.

"We hope people will learn from what happened with us, that drink driving, speeding and drugs can kill someone," she said outside court.

Davidson, 31, 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 the courtroom on Friday as they were read out.

The children had been walking to buy ice-creams when Davidson's ute ploughed into them after it mounted a kerb at Oatlands, in Sydney's northwest on February 1 last year.

The total distance between the children who were killed spanned about 17.5 metres.

As community and family members began to gather to a crowd of about 200, many were screaming and the riot squad was called to maintain safety.

Bob Sakr spoke in court of being stuck outside the crime scene not knowing what had happened to his "princess".

Earlier that day Davidson had been sitting poolside with his housemates drinking Vodka Cruisers and beers, having his first drink about 7am before consuming drugs and driving with another friend.

He was observed by witnesses waving his rude finger out the window, speeding through a red light, swerving anti-clockwise around a roundabout, 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.

The professional truck driver was afforded a 25 per cent discount on sentence after pleading guilty to all charges including manslaughter.

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.

Davidson was significantly affected after his sister aged 30 died from cystic fibrosis, the court was told.

His parents who attended court wrote letters supporting him, saying his behaviour that day was beyond comprehension and was shockingly out of character.

Danny Abdallah said no sentence could ease the broken-hearted pain he and the family members affected would feel until "their last breath".

But his main disappointment was in a culture that loves drugs and alcohol, he said.

"That's where my frustration is, more than the driver."

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 second child on Friday.

Davidson will first be eligible for parole on January 31, 2041.