Vaughan daycare operator sentenced to almost two years, in death of child

The operator of an illegal Vaughan daycare will spend 22 months in jail, in the death of a two-year-old girl in her care.

Olena Panfilova was also sentenced to three-years probation.

During the sentencing, mother of the little girl whose life was cut short in the care of a daycare worker says her daughter's death has ruined her life inside and out.

Ekaterina Ravikovich's voice broke as gave a victim impact statement Friday at a sentencing hearing for  Olena Panfilova, owner of an illegal home daycare in Vaughan. Panfilova has plead guilty last month to criminal negligence causing death nearly four years after Eva's death, and one year after she was found guilty under Ontario's Day Nurseries Act of operating an illegal daycare.

The Crown was seeking two years and three years probation for Panfilova.

In court Friday, Ekaterina Ravikovich she doesn't care how long Panfilova spends behind bars, nothing will bring her little girl back. Ravikovich shared that since Eva's death she has struggled with depression, isolation, post-traumatic stress and the realization that instead of dreaming of one day shopping for wedding dresses, she had to pick out a tiny coffin and a burial plot.

In an agreed upon statement of facts, the court has heard Eva was stuck inside a boiling SUV outside the daycare for about seven hours before her lifeless body was discovered.

When Panfilova arrived at the daycare at 9:30 a.m. that July morning, she removed all the children from the passenger side of her SUV but forgot Eva, who was strapped in a car seat on the driver's side.

Panfilova, who had 35 children at her daycare that day, did not realize she had left Eva sitting in the hot vehicle until sometime after 5 p.m. There should not have been more than five children in Panfilova's care.

The document said the vehicle likely heated up to at least 50 C by noon, adding the little girl died of heat stroke.

Panfilova initially told paramedics and police that she put Eva down for a nap that afternoon in the daycare and found she was not breathing when she went to check up on her, the statement of facts said.

Panfilova and her daughter Karina Rabadanova were also charged with obstruction of justice three months after Eva's death because they would not provide police with surveillance footage from their daycare's cameras and Eva's child seat had gone missing.

"Olena Panfilova admits that she had a duty of care (to) protect Eva on July 8, 2013, but that she failed in that duty by leaving Eva in her vehicle all day, thereby causing Eva's death," the statement said.

with files from the Canadian Press, Siobhan Morris and Justine Lewkowicz

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