Orillia couple sentenced for elder abuse
An Orillia couple found guilty of not providing proper care for an elderly woman will spend a year in jail.
Diana and James Davy were found guilty in October 2014 on two counts of failing to provide the necessities of life for Diane’s mother – 76-year-old Viola Simonds.
On Friday, the judge sentenced the Davy’s to one year in jail on each of two counts. The jail time will be served concurrently, meaning the Davy’s will only be in jail for one year. The judge also sentenced the Davy’s to two years of probation.
Family members packed the courtroom on Friday to hear the judge’s ruling and for many the sentence was a relief.
“I was nervous they were going to just get a slap on the wrist because that is precedent from a lot of former cases and if they got to go home tonight that would be frustrating for me,” said Viola’s grandson Michael Simonds.
Simonds was found in her bed in the Davy’s home in 2011 covered in vomit, urine and feces. The windows had been spray painted black and she was also suffering from a broken hip. She died a few months later.
In court, the judge said the Davy’s “neglected Ms. Simonds over an extended period of time and the conditions in which she was found were deplorable.”
Family member say they hope this sentence sets a precedent for similar cases.
“What we wanted was elder abuse brought front and centre, not so much for my cousin but because it’s happening all the time and somebody’s got to put a reign on it,” says Viola’s nephew Brad McConnell.
As the judge read out the decision, Diana Davy stared at him without emotion. Her husband, who sat beside her in the prisoner’s box, looked at the ground. At the end they stood, were handcuffed and taken away.