A Calgary father convicted in the methadone overdose death of his toddler has been sentenced to 2½ years in jail.
Summer Hope, 16 months old, was found dead in April 2006 after drinking methadone mixed with juice. Her father, Jonathan Hope, had been taking the opiate as part of treatment for his drug addiction.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Earl Wilson accepted a joint submission by both the Crown and defence in sentencing Hope on Tuesday. Hope must serve a term of two years after being credit for the four months he spent in pre-sentence custody.
"I wish I could go back and change everything. I miss my daughter and I'll never get over it," Hope told the court.
Hope and his former partner, Lisa Guerin, were found guilty in March of failing to provide the toddler with the necessities of life.
The trial heard from a witness that the parents fought with each other after seeing the toddler with spilled juice on her shirt. Neither sought medical attention for the girl. Guerin left for a road trip out of town, while Hope later went to bed.
'An abandonment of parental responsibility is perhaps the understatement of the year.' —Justice Earl Wilson
When Hope awoke to find Summer not breathing, he attempted CPR for hours but did not call 911 because he said his phone was not working, the trial heard.
"[Hope] couldn't even get off his hind quarters and go down the street. An abandonment of parental responsibility is perhaps the understatement of the year," said Wilson on Tuesday.
Hope will serve his sentence in a federal penitentiary so he can have better access to addictions programs.
"He wants to get his life back on track," Corinne Vooys, Hope's mother's cousin, told CBC News. "He was already getting there by getting off methadone. He's been working at that for a number of months — it's very hard to get off. He wants to live a more healthy lifestyle."