Calgary senior paralyzed in CTrain attack grieves loss of mobility at hearing

Calgary senior paralyzed in CTrain attack grieves loss of mobility at hearing

It was an emotional day in court for the family of a Calgary woman who was paralyzed after she was pushed into the path of an oncoming CTrain by a stranger in 2018.

Stephanie Favel pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and admitted to being high on crystal meth when she made the split-second decision to attack Rozalia Meichl, 64, and push her onto the tracks at the Victoria Park/Stampede Park LRT station in November.

Meichl's family gasped and cried when surveillance video of the incident was played in court Tuesday during the sentencing hearing.

Warning: The below video shows the assault and may be upsetting to some viewers.

"The blatant and obvious act of violence that ultimately led mom to where she is today will undoubtedly haunt me for a very long time," Meichl's son Allan Hein told CBC News outside the courtroom after watching the exhibit.

'Feel so much less of a woman'

In Meichl's victim impact statement, read aloud in court by her sister Kathy Snow, she outlined the "profound impact" the Nov. 8 incident has had on her and grieved the loss of her independence.

"I am the one that has been given a life sentence confined to this wheelchair, forever dependent on others for my most basic needs," Meichl wrote.

"My caregivers are all loving people, but they are strangers doing very intimate things for me," the statement continued.

"I will not be able to walk down the aisle on my wedding day or even have the close intimate relationship that I have been so looking forward to. For me there will be no honeymoon. All of this has made me feel so much less of a woman."

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In her statement, Meichl said she and her family have never received an apology from Favel, and she asked the court to consider that in Favel's sentencing.

"An apology and words aren't ever gonna undo what was done to mom, and mom still lives in pain daily from it," said Hein.

"Knowing that Stephanie Favel is going to walk free one day, sooner or later, when my mom will never walk again — to me it's just unfair, and no time served is ever going to make that right."

Stephanie Favel/Facebook

The court heart Favel had a troubled upbringing, being sexually abused by her stepfather and dealing with a mother who is sober now, but was an alcoholic for the first 15 years of her life.

Favel's mother, Margaret, expressed her remorse for the "tragedy" that Meichl's family has suffered and said she hopes her daughter Stephanie gets the help she needs to overcome her drug addiction.

She also said she accepts some of the blame for bringing her daughter up in such a troubled home.

"In a sense, I can understand the family wanting Stephanie to pay for what she's done. And as a mother, I would like her to come home, but also to get help, the help that she needs, desperately needs to be a decent human being in society," Margaret said.

Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor is asking for a five-year sentence with credit for time served. Defence lawyer Adriano Iovinelli is asking for three to 3½ years.