Riveting testimony has been presented to the judge who will decide the prison sentence that will be given to William Conway for causing the death of his girlfriend Veronica Doyle last fall.
'I haven't had a good night's sleep in months. Everything about my mom's death keeps playing over and over in my head — the nightmares are horrible' - Lee Doyle, daughter of Veronica Doyle
Members of Doyle's family presented haunting victim impact statements at Conway's sentencing hearing on Wednesday.
Conway pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death, saying he accidentally ran over and killed Doyle with his truck in the early morning hours of Oct. 24 in the Airport Heights neighbourhood of St. John's.
Doyle's family submitted seven victim impact statements — an unusually high number — to the court, with four read aloud.
- William Conway admits to running over, killing Veronica Doyle
- William Conway pleads guilty to girlfriend's death
Brenda Jenkins, Doyle's granddaughter, said she can still vividly recall the last time she saw her grandmother.
"I was greeted with that big warm smile she always seemed to wear. We shared some stories and made a few jokes. After that, we finished with a hug and exchanged 'I love you's,'" said Jenkins.
"Why couldn't someone have told me then it would be the last time I would see her?"
Doyle's daughter-in-law Melody Doyle said the memory still haunts her and her family.
"I see images of the funeral home. I picture my husband crying his eyes out before they closed his mother's casket. Jerome was always the strong one, but this has made us all different people," she said.
"I dream of dark holes dug for graves. I really don't know if I believe there is a God. If something as evil as this can happen to our loved one, I just don't know anymore."
Guilt, grief haunts daughters
Michelle Doyle said in her statement that since her mother's death, there's been a dark cloud of grief over family gatherings.
"We will never get to share these special times with mom anymore. Both of my children had birthdays since mom was taken away, and both times, as much as I tried to make it special for them, there was such emptiness felt by everyone. I sat alone on both occasions and cried," said Doyle.
Lee Doyle said in her statement that her mother's sudden death has left her with a deep feeling of guilt to accompany her grief.
"I was always there for her when she needed me, but I wasn't there when she needed me this time. I have beat myself up over this. I let her down," she said.
"I haven't had a good night's sleep in months. Everything about my mom's death keeps playing over and over in my head — the nightmares are horrible."
It isn't clear why the other three victim impact statements weren't read out in court; Judge Mark Linehan has them.
Conway is scheduled to return to court on June 17 for sentencing.
The Crown has recommended a sentence of eight to 10 years, with driving privileges permanently revoked.
The defence said Conway should get four to six years, and a 10-year driving prohibition.