Jennifer Lawless' daily commute to work is a constant reminder of her brother's death.
Benjamin Lawless was hit and killed by a car driven by Wellington academic Yvonne van Roy as he cycled home from a birthday dinner at his sister's Karori home about 11pm on January 22 last year.
He died of head injuries at the scene.
Today in Wellington District Court, van Roy, 62, an associate professor in the school of accounting and commercial law at Victoria University, was convicted of the death, after she was found guilty of careless use of a vehicle causing Mr Lawless' death last November.
Judge Tom Broadmore ordered van Roy to pay $37,000 in reparations - $25,000 to her victim's mother and $12,000 to his sister - a figure agreed by both parties.
After today's sentencing Ms Lawless said it had been a difficult 13 months for everyone in her family.
"What we're most relieved about is that she was found guilty and convicted."
Ms Lawless lived close to the crash site and said travelling past it each day to get to and from work was difficult.
"In that area there are lots of cyclists because it's right near Makara Peak, so everyone, in a way, is a reminder of Ben."
Mr Lawless moved to Wellington to be closer to his nephew and find work after finishing his studies in Canterbury.
Ms Lawless' now two-and-a-half-year-old son continues to ask for his uncle.
"It's very difficult to explain what has happened ... death isn't a concept they understand, but he asks about Ben a lot, and asks when he will come visit and obviously that's very hard for us to explain that."
Ms Lawless hoped she would feel confident enough to let her son bike to nearby Karori School when he was older.
Van Roy said outside court she had always felt terrible about the incident and said she would meet the family if they wanted to.
"I feel desperately sorry for the family ... there are no winners in this. I'm always going to feel terrible about it," she said.
She hoped today's sentencing would enable her to put the incident behind her and get some closure.
Judge Broadmore said the incident was a case of momentary carelessness and Mr Lawless, who was illuminated only by a weak amber light at the time, also had to "bear responsibility for what occurred".
But in sentencing van Roy, Judge Broadmore said everyone was subject to sanctions if they failed to follow the law.
The family had sought just over $37,000 in reparation and van Roy had offered to pay that in full.
Judge Broadmore said the payment was "far in excess of any sum the court might have ordered to repay", and compared the case with a similar historic one in which reparation of $8000 was ordered.
A victim impact statement read out in court on behalf of Mr Lawless' mother, Sue, said it was impossible to put into words the enormity of losing her only son.
Mr Lawless was one of two children who lost his father when he was 10. He was just days away from starting a job at ANZ.
"He brought great joy into my life," the statement said. "At the end of his short life he owned nothing, gave everything."
The family had received no messages from van Roy, and van Roy had taken no responsibility for what occurred, she said.
"It was your action that destroyed my son's life. You take from me a mother's most treasured only son."By Hana Garrett-Walker Email Hana