Story Details

Grieving woman offers forgiveness at man's sentencing

forgiveness on Miscellaneous - A grieving nurse moved a courtroom to tears as she delivered a powerful statement of the power of forgiveness to transform hate into healing.

Hera Edwards' partner of 10 years and the father of her three girls, Ricki Cobb, died when he was hit by a jackknifing trailer towed by Donald Stewart Wills, 64, near Greytown, on November 5, 2011.

Yesterday's sentencing hearing in the Masterton District Court followed a restorative justice process.

The victim impact statement that Edwards read out in court yesterday was hailed by Judge Bill Hastings for "rising above the aura of hatred" to produce instead the "healing power of forgiveness".

Judge Hastings read out a paragraph of a letter Wills wrote offering reparation for emotional harm totalling $25,000. Of that, $10,000 was to be paid into a trust fund set up for the education and welfare of Cobb's children, with the rest in cash.

Police prosecutor Gary Wilson said outside court that this was "far in excess" of what would normally be ordered by the court in such a case.

Wills, an engineer, of Morrisons Bush, also promised to supply frozen meat and produce to Edwards, 35, and the family on an ongoing basis.

His heavily laden trailer hit the guardrail on the Waiohine Bridge and jack-knifed into the path of Cobb's motorcycle. Cobb died instantly.

In her statement yesterday, Edwards thanked Wills and said she would accept his offer "because of the children" - daughters Lexus, 9, Rhion, 6, and Huntah, 4.

"We didn't ask for anything," she said. "But I accept [the offer] particularly for our youngest child, who has no memories of her daddy."

Attached file(s)

Submit a Comment

Log in to comment or register here