Christian forgives driver who killed her husband

A Christian woman, whose husband died after being hit by a car, has spoken of her forgiveness for the driver.

Gerrard Machin, 77, died in December 2011 when he was knocked down on his way home from picking up his morning newspaper.

Patricia Machin, 74, told BBC Radio 5 Live she never blamed the driver and even wrote a letter in his defence.


Brian Williamson, 29, was given a suspended sentence by Judge Samuel Wiggs, who described Mr Williamson as “very fortunate to have been forgiven”.

Judge Wiggs read the letter written by Mrs Machin to the court. It said: “On the day of the accident, however bad it was for me, I realise it was a thousand times worse for you”.

Mrs Machin and her late husband were Christians and she said in her letter: “Neither Gerrard, if he was here, nor I feel any sense of condemnation towards you.”


Scott Stemp, Mr Williamson’s lawyer, called the letter “truly astonishing.”

Mr Stemp said he struggled “to find words to express what is conveyed through the contents and the intentions”.

In 2009 the Christian parents of a boy who was killed by an out-of-control drug driver said that with God’s help they could forgive the woman convicted of his death by dangerous driving.


Sam Riddall, who was eleven years old, was killed as he walked home from church when a car driven by Hannah Saaf mounted the pavement at twice the speed limit.

Martin and Rachel Riddall, Sam’s parents, speaking outside Bristol Crown Court said: “In four days’ time we will be celebrating Christmas, our first Christmas without Sam and it’s going to be very hard for us.

“We still miss him very much indeed.


“At Christmas, we remember God sending Jesus into the world to bring peace, and it’s this same God who is giving us the strength to forgive Hannah for the terrible thing she did by killing our son.

“It’s not easy but with God’s help we know it’s possible.”

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