The mother of a toddler who died after being left inside a sweltering SUV for nearly seven hours in 2013 by an illegal Vaughan daycare owner said the 22-month sentence was “not expected and shocking.”
Olena Panfilova was handed 22 months in jail and three years of probation in the death of two-year-old Eva Ravikovich in a Newmarket courthouse on Friday.
Panfilova pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing the death of the toddler last month after evidence concluded Ravikovich was abandoned inside a vehicle outside of the daycare for approximately seven hours in the July heat.
The child’s mother Ekaterina Evtropva read out an emotional impact statement, in which she described the devastation and loss.
“Four years of torture, day in and day out and this person never came up to me and said sorry,” Evtropva told the court. “If you ask me how much time this person deserves in jail, I would answer I don’t care because nothing will bring my Eva back.”
She is reluctant to call this closure, saying she can’t call it that.
“I do believe that 22 months in jail with her probably being out in 15 months would not do any good,” she told CTV News Toronto. “More than that, it will probably never ever heal me or my husband.”
Evtropva added that no sentence would have satisfied her.
Panfilova’s lawyer Elena Levy told CTV News Toronto her client is racked with guilt in the nearly four years since the incident.
“(Panfilova is) finally content that it’s over and she would like to express her feelings towards the family – Eva’s family – that she regrets what happened and she was very apologetic and remorseful,” Levy said.
Evtropva said throughout the investigation Panfilova has never reached out to apologize to her and her husband personally.
“I don’t believe her apologies and I don’t see any sincere apology there, she’s probably just sorry that she went to jail, that’s all she’s sorry for,” Evtropva said.
The incident took place on July 8, 2013 at a home daycare in Thornhill, near Highway 7 and Dufferin Street.
Officers responded to the daycare for reports of a toddler found not breathing. Paramedics attempted to revive Ravikovich but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ravikovich was in the care of the illegal daycare at the time of her death that was run by Panfilova, her daughter and her husband.
The trio was all found guilty under Ontario’s Day Nurseries Act of operating an illegal daycare. They were all sentenced to 30 days in jail, to be served intermittently on weekend, and given two years to each pay a $15,000 fine with a victim surcharge.
The crown attorney asked for two years in prison and three years of probation for Panfilova. The defence was asking for 15 months in prison.