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Powerful victim statements at sentencing

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/04/2017

Byron McLean said he was being as strong as possible since the death of his mother Delia Williams because "these events can destroy you".

The 30-year-old was speaking at the sentencing of Mark Stevens, who ran over and killed Ms Williams in the Wellington suburb of Northland on March 15 last year.

Stevens was sentenced to four years' jail in the Wellington High Court on Wednesday.

Mr McLean said seeing his mother in the Wellington morgue was life-changing.

"She was cold, bruised, an empty shell of the warm, vibrant, loving woman I knew," he said.

Mr McLean did receive a letter from Stevens in the days before sentencing, expressing his remorse, and he hoped in time to forgive Stevens, "because that is what is right in my heart".

Mr McLean said he had stayed away from alcohol and engaged in counselling to cope.

"I've tried to be as strong as possible because these events can destroy you," he said.

"I have an intense feeling of sadness but my family has helped me so much."

Ms Williams was one of seven children and her brothers and sisters spoke of her zany nature and artistic talent, but all said her relationship with Stevens was peppered with violence, alcohol and domestic violence.

Ms Williams' 87-year-old mother Shirley said she missed her daughter's regular visits and phone calls.

"She would visit me twice a week and check up on me at meal times, especially after my husband died in 2013," she said.

"Delia would bring me an iceberg rose from her garden all the time and was happy, bright and bubbly - a ball of energy, who had empathy for others.

"Nothing can fill the gap that Delia has left."

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