All that is left are ‘never moments’

Andrew Powell

Andrew Powell

A MOTHER has told of the devastation of losing her son to a reckless motorist, saying her life would be full of “never moments” without the boy who called her “mumsy”.

Cheryl Smith, of Wangaratta, relayed her heartache in a victim impact statement tendered to a sentencing hearing for Stephen John Robins in the Wangaratta County Court yesterday.

Robins has been found guilty of reckless driving causing death after crashing his car into Andrew Powell’s vehicle on February 9, 2010.

Mr Powell’s mother said her life would never be the same without him.

“On the morning after that terrible knock on my front door, I stood beside an undertaker’s trolley,” Ms Smith said in her statement.

“I held Andrew’s hand, I stroked his hair and hugged my child for the very last time.

“All of the joy was gone and I realised my life would be forever full of ‘never moments’.

“Never to have the family dinner where we laughed until the tears rolled down our faces, to enjoy the spontaneous visits to each other, the late night phone calls, the long conversations where he shared his hopes and dreams, his triumphs and despairs.”

Ms Smith said her son’s death had impacted every facet of her life.

“I will never hold Andrew’s child in my arms or watch my son walk his only sister down the aisle on her wedding day,” her statement said.

“I won’t see Andrew reach his full potential.

“Mostly I will never hear his familiar and special greeting ‘Hi mumsy’ ever again.”

Ms Smith was one of four family members to detail their pain after Mr Powell’s death at age 24.

His sister-in-law Jenelle Williams said family gatherings would always be a reminder of his absence.

“For us, our pain is everlasting,” her statement said.

“It doesn’t ease with time, for a part of us has stopped in time.

“Psychologically I feel Andrew was given a death sentence and we, his family, have been given the life sentence.”

The court heard Robins, 45, had three drink-driving convictions and “seven or eight” convictions for speeding on his “appalling” driving record.

Judge Chris O’Neill said he had hoped to sentence Robins yesterday, but said complexities — including the fact speed, drugs and alcohol were not involved — needed deliberation.

A sentence is expected tomorrow.