Fri. Nov 18th, 2022

The grieving father of one of four children killed by a heavily drunk driver speeding through a suburban street in Sydneys northwest has called on a judge to hand down the most extreme sentence possible.Samuel William Davidson faces decades behind bars for the horrific crash in Oatlands last February that robbed two families and left a community in mourning.
Siblings Antony, 13, Angelina, 12, and Sienna Abdallah, 9, and their cousin Veronique Sakr, 11, were killed when the Mitsubishi Triton Davidson was driving mounted a footpath and crashed into them near Oatlands Golf Club on February 1, 2020.
Davidson, who spent the day drinking and snorting drugs, was seen to laugh and stick his middle finger up at another car moments before his Mitsubishi Triton mounted a kerb and ploughed into a group of seven children.
Moments later he hopped out of his ute and exclaimed: “What have I done? I have killed people. I am going to jail.”
A fifth child was left in a critical condition and spent 80 days in hospital but survived, while two others were also injured in the crash on Bettington Road.
The seven children were walking to an IGA store to buy ice creams when they were hit from behind on a hot summer night about 7.50pm. Those who died suffered unspeakable injuries.
The full events that preceded the devastating crash can be revealed after Davidson faced a sentence hearing before the District Court on Friday.
Davidson, 30, has pleaded guilty to charges including four counts of manslaughter, each carrying a maximum 25-year prison sentence.
He sat in the dock at Parramatta as family members of the victims spoke to him for the first time and delivered heartbreaking accounts of how the incident had changed their lives.
Bob Sakr, Veronique’s father, remembered through tears celebrating his birthday with his only daughter – his “princess” – and son Michael on January 28, 2020.
It was the last time he saw or spoke to Veronique, with her last words to him as she left being “Happy birthday, Daddy”.
“The only time a father should walk his princess down a church aisle is for her wedding … instead I carried her down the aisle for her funeral,” he said.
Mr Sakr described the phone call he received on the night of her death and attending the crash scene soon after to see a line of police, flashing lights and officers saying he couldn’t see his daughter.
A man of faith, he said the Sakr and Abdallah families had done what many in the community could not fathom and forgiven Davidson. However, he called on the judge to deliver justice.
“Nothing will bring our children back,” he said. “But I ask as we have put our faith in our religious beliefs … the legal system go beyond what others believe is possible and hand down the most extreme sentence.”
Veronique’s mother Bridget Sakr said her daughter had been excited to meet up with her cousins but what was supposed to be a carefree night of fun became a “horror”.
She said the 11-year-old loved cooking, was always smiling and was witty, funny and stoic.
“But just like that in an instant she was gone. Stolen from under our noses,” Ms Sakr said.
She chose to forgive Davidson as it offered her a “pathway to peace” but said she longed to reunite with Veronique in heaven.
Speaking directly to her daughter’s killer Ms Sakr urged him to find God and stated part of her mercy would be to visit him in prison to help him on the path to faith.
“So you get the chance to look deep in your heart and soul to call out for help. And call out for god’s mercy,” she said.
Brother Michael Sakr told the court he formed an unbreakable bond with his sister as their parents went through a divorce.
“Veronique was my fellow soldier. We fought together. Now I am battling life’s challenges all on my own,” he said.
The teenager did not attend the Abdallah house on the night of the crash because he had a soccer game the next day.
Michael believed if he had been there he might have saved his sister who lived in the moment and would have been “oblivious” to the oncoming danger.
“I would have been more aware and I have to live with that,” he said.
In October he pleaded guilty to four counts of manslaughter, two counts of causing bodily harm by misconduct in control of a motor vehicle and one of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.
As proceedings began on Friday, Judge James Bennett read out each charge and asked the 30-year-old to confirm his pleas.
“Yes, Your Honour,” he replied seven times.
“You are convicted of that offence,” Judge Bennett declared in turn.
Agreed facts tendered to the court detail how Davidson spent the morning at his Oatlands home on Green Avenue drinking beer and Vokda Cruisers by his swimming pool.
He started drinking at 7am and had his last drink at 7.40pm.
About 11am Davidson, the son of a retired cop, snorted cocaine before he and friend Daniel Newman walked down to a local bottle shop to buy more cruisers at 3pm.
He and Mr Newman later discussed how Davidson was owed money and they set off to an ATM about 7.30pm.
CCTV captured Davidson pulling up to the Budget Petrol station at North Rocks and parking at the front door while Mr Newman went inside to get cash.
Davidson repeatedly beeped the horn to hurry his friend before harshly accelerating out of the carpark and driving straight through a red light as he headed down Bettington Road.
A witness reported him tailgating her and swerving from side to side as he tried to overtake her car. In her rearview mirror she could see two shirtless men who were laughing.
Davidson sped through a roundabout on the wrong side of the road to overtake the car and was “quite animated” and laughing when he gave another motorist the bird.
After stopping briefly for a red light at the intersection of Bettington and Pennant Hills roads, he drove across four lanes of traffic before the lights turned green.
Soon after the ute approached a sharp right hand bend on the sloping road, and while travelling at speeds in excess of 130km/h Davidson lost control of the vehicle.
The car mounted a kerb and careered into all seven children before coming to a stop 90m away.
Shocked witnesses rushed to the scene as Mr Newman tried to render aid to one of the kids.
Davidson was seen to be distressed as he surveyed the catastrophic consequences of his actions.
Analysis of the ute’s computer data revealed it hit a top speed of 133km/h just seconds before the collision, at least 80km/h over the speed limit.
The accelerator was fully depressed and the brakes of the vehicle were not applied at any time in the five seconds preceding the collision, the data confirmed.
Davidson would blow a blood alcohol reading of 0.182 at the scene of the crash before returning a second reading of 0.15 at Castle Hill police station.
He told police he had snorted a line of cocaine earlier that morning.
Davidson faces sentences of 25 years in jail for the offence of manslaughter.
The hearing continues.