The father of three children who tragically lost their lives in a horror car crash in Sydney’s west three years ago, has revealed how their killer is spending his time behind bars after the family forgave him.
Parents Leila and Danny Abdallah, aged 37 and 44, lost their daughters Sienna, 8, and Angelina, 12, and son Antony, 13, in February 2020, after they were struck by a car in Oatlands.
The driver, who was high on drugs, also killed their niece Veronique Sakr, 11, while the group were walking along a footpath on their way to buy ice cream.
Samuel William Davidson was behind the wheel at the time of the crash, and was initially sentenced to 28 years jail in 2021 after pleading guilty to four counts of manslaughter.
He was given a non-parole period of 21 years, however that was reduced to 15 years after his lawyers won an appeal.
Despite the devastating situation, Mr and Ms Abdallah forgave the driver just days after he wiped out half of their family.
Now Mr Abdallah has detailed Davidson’ unexpected act in a bid to thank the family for their forgiveness.
In an interview on Christian Lives Matter podcast, Mr Abdallah said a former homeless man who knew the family’s spiritual adviser Father Robert Pierre, reached out to the priest from jail and claimed Davidson wanted to meet him.
After the homeless man contacted Father Pierre, a second person is understood to have reached out, telling the priest: “Look Father Robert, I‘ve got the driver that ran over the Abdallah children, he’s in my cell’.”
“Of all the priests in Australia this guy‘s talking to Father Robert, my spiritual father,” Mr Abdallah said.
“Well, (Father Robert) goes ‘I know the Abdallah parents, I visit them regularly and I talk to them, they come to my church.
“(Now Davidson) prays the rosaries three times a day, he goes to mass, he‘s doing Bible study and he wants to become a Maronite Catholic.”
A Maronite Catholic himself, Mr Abdallah admitted he was initially surprised by Davidson’s willingness to become religious.
“I was shocked. I honestly didn‘t expect it at all to hear Father Robert went and visited him and spoke to him and he’d done his first confession,” Mr Abdallah said.
“They spoke and (Davidson) said ‘you know, the whole world should have hated me, but because of Danny and Leila‘s forgiveness I was able to see life in a different way’.
“(Father Robert) said (Davidson) kept on saying how sorry he is and knows what he (did) was wrong but goes ‘that‘s what’s changed my heart’.”
Following their children’s and niece’s deaths, Mr and Ms Abdallah founded i4Give week in honour of their “four angles” and to remind everyone to “forgive and ask for forgiveness”.
Their first event kicked off in February this year, after being delayed due to the pandemic, with Ms Abdallah saying she was “so happy” to see her visions come to life.
“This is the park where I used to come all the time with my children,” she said on the day.
“Although Antony, Angelina, Sienna and Veronique are not present in body, but believe me, they are present in their spirit.”
Hundreds gathered in the park as three of the Abdallah children – Liana, Alex and Michael – offered up heartfelt prayers to their lost siblings.
The couple’s youngest child Selina – a mixture of Angelina and Sienna’s names – was also passed around between family members during the ceremony.
Veronique’s father, Bob Sakr was emotional as he said there wasn’t “anything in the world” he wouldn’t offer to give his daughter one last hug.
“When I heard Leila say she forgave [the driver], that wasn’t going through my head,” Mr Sakr said.
“But then I very quickly I realised I was only burdening myself.”
The festival is due to become an annual event filled with amusement rides, live performances, and an outdoor movie showing to cap off the day.
– With NCA Newswire