High Court Rejects Appeal of Driver Who Killed Four Children While Drunk and High on Drugs

High Court Rejects Appeal of Driver Who Killed Four Children While Drunk and High on Drugs

Samuel William Davidson, the driver who killed four children while drunk and high on drugs as they walked along a Sydney footpath to buy ice creams, has failed in his final bid to reduce his sentence.

The High Court refused special leave to hear his appeal that he had been subject to an unfair amount of jail time due to the incorrect use of sentencing principles.

Davidson, a professional truck driver, was driving erratically and speeding when he struck Veronique Sakr, 11, and her cousins, Sienna Abdallah, eight, and her siblings Angelina, 12, and Antony, 13.

He ploughed into them after his ute mounted a kerb at Oatlands, in Sydney’s northwest on February 1, 2020.

Representing Davidson, Stephen Odgers SC argued that Davidson had a good chance of being rehabilitated as he had prior good character, and the offence had led to his first time in custody.

However, he said that the way parole and non-parole periods were determined in relation to the length of a sentence meant people with a better chance of rehabilitation were left worse off.

Odgers added that the defence would raise the issue of Davidson’s ADHD if the case were to be heard, but conceded it wasn’t a basis for which the appeal should be granted.

Davidson was re-sentenced to a term of 20 years with 15 years non-parole after the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal concluded his original term was manifestly excessive.

He was initially jailed in April 2021 for 28 years with a non-parole period of 21 years.

Davidson had pleaded guilty to four counts of manslaughter and to charges related to injuries caused to three other children in the crash.

Crown prosecutor Helen Robertson SC said the differences between the two sentences did ‘not demonstrate fundamentally different principles’ nor did they pose an issue to the law applied in NSW.

Robertson pointed out most sentences were reduced in the lower courts because of special circumstances but acknowledged Odgers was referring to long sentences.

In her reasoning for the refusal, Chief Justice Susan Kiefel said the appeal was likely to be unsuccessful.

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