An Australian mother will be eligible for parole in less than two years after she was sentenced Friday in connection with the death of her young daughter, who died after being left in a hot vehicle.
The Queensland’s Supreme Court sentenced 39-year-old Laura Rose Peverill to seven years behind bars for the death of her 3-year-old daughter, Rylee Rose Black, in November 2020, ABC News reports.
Rylee Left Alone for More than Five Hours
Authorities say Rylee was left alone in the vehicle for more than five hours as temperatures reached 87 degrees Fahrenheit outside and 124 degrees inside the locked Toyota Prado.
Peverill, who is from Townsville, Queensland, pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this year, according to 7 News. During court proceedings, prosecutor David Nardone argued that the girl was subjected to “suffering up to the point of coma, and then death.”
On the day of the death, Peverill and her boyfriend had returned home after picking up groceries. The couple brought the groceries inside and watched a Netflix series, but they left the girl inside the vehicle.
When Peverill went back to the vehicle to pick up her other kids from school, she found Rylee unresponsive, slumped over and covered in her own vomit.
Rylee Died of ‘Heat Stroke or Thermoregulatory Failure’
The girl was rushed to Townsville University Hospital, but she died from what authorities determined was “heat stroke or thermoregulatory failure,” according to news.com.au. Her body temperature at the time was 105.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rylee’s father told the court about the trauma he experienced that day. “My happy energetic, bubbly little princess was gone forever,” Peter Black told the court, according to ABC News. “I could hear her screams for help in my mind.”
Black added he would grieve the loss of his daughter forever, describing her as “a source of light and love, energetic and cheeky,” according to ABC News.
Peverill’s Attorney Claims Her Client is Struggling with Alcohol Addiction and Mental Health Challenges
Peverill’s defense attorney, Victoria Trafford-Walker, said her client has long grappled with alcohol and mental health challenges. “It has had a profound and everlasting impact on her life. She has lost her partnership with her then-boyfriend, and now even feels she deserves to go to prison,” Trafford-Walker told the court, according to the Herald Sun.
Trafford-Walker also said her client has received death threats and abusive messages from strangers since the girl’s death. Peverill’s boyfriend at the time, Aaron Danyel Hill, also faces a charge of manslaughter. Despite the seven-year sentence, Peverill will be eligible for parole on July 3, 2025.