Woman who admitted to pushing stranger onto LRT tracks awaits sentence
Stephanie Favel, left, is scheduled to be sentenced July 24, after admitting to shoving Rose Meichl, right, onto the LRT tracks, leaving her paralyzed.
Published Tuesday, July 16, 2019 10:49AM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 16, 2019 8:45PM MDT
A woman who admitted to randomly shoving a woman onto the CTrain tracks, leaving her paralyzed, is in court for a sentencing hearing.
The victim’s family cried as surveillance video was shown in court and gasped at the moment it showed Stephanie Favel shoving Rose Meichl off the platform, leaving her lying motionless on the tracks.
In March, Stephanie Favel, 35, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for the unprovoked attack on 64-year-old Meichl at the Victoria Park/Stampede LRT station in November 2018.
According to an agreed statement of facts, both women were behind the yellow line at the station when Favel shoved the victim using her shoulder and elbow. Meichl fell onto the train tracks, hitting her head and upper back.
The driver of an oncoming CTrain managed to stop the train before it hit Meichl but she was taken to hospital in critical condition and the fall left her a paraplegic.
Favel later admitted to police that she'd been drinking prior to the offence and a doctor's report, submitted to the court on December 11, 2018, found she had consumed a large amount of methamphetamine, cannabis, alcohol and Gravol.
Crown prosecutor, Douglas Taylor, asked for a sentence of 5 years in jail with credit for time served. In court he said the attack seemed "calculated" as the train was visibly approaching and was announced on the loudspeaker right before Favel shoved Meichl.
Taylor says public transit use is encouraged in Calgary and this attack has "a chilling effect to members of the public and a devastating effect on Rozalia (Rose) Meichl."
Taylor added that a psychiatric assessment found Favel a high risk of future offences due to an anti-social personality disorder, substance abuse and criminal lifestyle.
Defence lawyer, Adriano Iovinelli asked for a sentence of three to three-and-a-half years in jail with credit for time served. Iovinelli said Favel pleaded guilty, has remorse and wants to turn her life around.
Iovinelli admitted Favel is a high risk but pressed for rehabilitation. "She needs significant counselling." He said Favel did receive 21 days counselling in 2012 but "immediately relapsed" and needs more therapy. Iovinelli said Favel faced many hardships including sexual assault as a child, witnessing violence and substance abuse, and the suicide of her sister.
Meichl was not in court Tuesday but her written victim impact statement was read in court by her sister, Kathleen Snow. The statement described "severe emotional and physical pain" and a loss of independence. Meichl wrote she was "given a life-sentence, confined to a wheelchair," and that the judge should take that into consideration. She also wrote that she never received an apology.
Later in court Favel did apologize. "I’m here taking full responsibility for my actions," Favel recited from a prepared statement while looking at Meichl’s family. Favel admitted that "because of (her) selfish choice of using drugs and alcohol" an "innocent woman was hurt." Favel called Meichl "a precious angel that saved (Favel’s) life."
Judge Harry Van Harten has reserved his decision until July 24.