Grieving Partner Offers Forgiveness at Man’s Sentencing
The New Zealand Herald, Auckland, New Zealand – Ricki Cobb was enjoying a ride through the countryside on his motorcycle when a heavily-loaded trailer towed by Donald Wills’ car hit a guardrail and jack-knifed into the path of the motorcycle, colliding with it and killing its rider instantly. At Wills’ sentencing for careless driving, the dead man’s partner Hera Edwards told the court not only of the sorrow Cobb’s death had brought to her in the 18-months since the fatal crash, but also of her willingness to forgive Wills.
Edwards said nothing could ever be done to replace Cobb or to make up for his absence in her life or the lives of their three girls–aged 9, 6 and 4–nor would he ever be forgotten.
“This is not about forgetting, we will never forget, but it is about forgiving,” Edwards said. “I offer my forgiveness and the forgiveness of my family.”
The sentencing came in the wake of a Restorative Justice conference and an offer by Wills that was described by Judge Bill Hastings as being a “generous offer” driven by genuine remorse.
Judge Hastings added, “Many victim impact statements read to courts are fueled by anger which prohibits healing, but Ms. Edwards, your statement rises above, from a basis of sorrow which embraces forgiveness. Both of you have shown a generosity of spirit to leave this courtroom and live your lives well.”
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