A woman who murdered her four-year-old daughter is appealing Revenue Canadas decision not to allow her the child tax benefit.
Astrid Margaret Literski, who is incarcerated at the
Nova Institution in Truro, pleaded guilty in February 2005 to the second-degree murder of Eveleigh Rain Bringsli by feeding her sleeping pills and then smothering her with a pillow. The mother, then 34, killed her daughter on Sept. 1, 2003, one day before the little girls first day of kindergarten.
Ms. Literski is slated to appear at a tax court appeal hearing May 2 in Halifax to argue that she deserved the child tax benefit cheques she received before her daughter died.
The federal government reviewed her case in 2002 and found that between March and December 2001, she was overpaid by $1,296.51 because the little girl was living with her father, Eric Bringsli, who was her primary caregiver.
"Shes somebody who performed an evil act on an innocent child and I guess everybody has their right to be heard on their issues, but I can guarantee you that what she says when she appears
will be a waste of time for everybody thats in that room," Mr. Bringsli said Friday.
He was upset to learn Ms. Literski is pursuing the tax case that involves the daughter she killed.
"How could you ever get up and even sort of consider the option of arguing the issue, given what you subsequently did?" Mr. Bringsli said. "Its cold; its bizarre; its not logical."
The chartered accountant, who lives in Victoria, B.C., has 10 photos of his daughter displayed around his office.
"Every hour of every day I think about her all the time," Mr. Bringsli said.
A note in Ms. Literskis tax file detailing her reasons for appeal is dated Feb. 12, 2003, less than seven months before she killed her daughter.
"I believe that care is both physical and emotional protection and that I looked after her
emotional well-being regardless of the times Eveleigh was allowed to be with me," Ms. Literski wrote at the time. "And the cost of housing, clothing, food and toddler activities was not decreased at this time."
In 2005, a judge sentenced Ms. Literski to life in prison with parole eligibility after 12 years.
"No matter how you slice it, this is a very sad case," Revenue Canada spokesman Roy Jamieson said Friday.
The child tax benefit comes in the form of a monthly cheque to people who have care and control of a child under the age of 18, Mr. Jamieson said.
"You have to be responsible, essentially, for the childs daily activities and daily requirements," he said.
Ms. Literski was living in Sidney, British Columbia, when she murdered her daughter.
Her appeal was scheduled to go to tax court in the fall of
2003, Mr. Jamieson said.
"But she was charged with the homicide on Sept. 3, 2003, so the whole matter, obviously, became of less importance to those other proceedings," he said.
Ms. Literski, who turns 39 on Monday, could not be reached for comment at the federal prison in Truro.
Court documents note she has "had significant mental health issues."
Ms. Literski was born in Germany. She became a registered nurse at the age of 20 and eventually moved to Switzerland.
"She found great attachment to her work in nursing dying patients and enjoyed helping people, particularly seniors," say court documents.
Ms. Literski first visited Canada in 1994 and became a landed immigrant two years later.
She met Mr. Bringsli in November 1997. In May 1998, they discovered she was pregnant.
"Shortly thereafter they realized that theirs was not a long-term relationship," court documents say. "Ms. Literski proposed that the child be adopted. Mr. Bringsli wanted to raise the child as a single parent. It was eventually agreed that following the childs birth, Mr. Bringsli would take over care of the child and Ms. Literski would return to Germany."
Eveleigh was born on Christmas Day 1998 at a hospital on Salt Spring Island, B.C.
Soon afterward, the mother realized she couldnt follow through with the plan.
Ms. Literski told Mr. Bringsli she loved him and wanted to be with him and their daughter, court documents say.
"That led to a reconciliation of sorts that lasted until July 2000, when they permanently separated."
They went through a custody battle that culminated in a judge giving Mr.
Bringsli access to Eveleigh from Thursday evenings until Monday mornings. The dad dropped Eveleigh off at her mothers apartment on Sept. 1, 2003, with a school uniform she was supposed to wear the next day.
The next day, Ms. Literski called a friend to say she was trying to kill herself. When he arrived at her apartment, the friend found her lying on a bed. She was curled around her daughter.
Paramedics quickly determined Eveleigh was dead. They took Ms. Literski to hospital in an ambulance.
"In the ambulance, she told the attendant that she had taken (a) whole bottle of sleeping pills and a bottle of rum and had put a plastic bag over her head," court documents say. "She said that she awoke to find the plastic bag off her head."
At the hospital, Ms. Literski told a nurse in German that she had been depressed and wanted to kill herself.
"She told her that her daughter was at home, that she was dead and that she had given her some sleeping pills and then held a pillow over her head," court documents say.
Police recovered a note written in red marker that was at the foot of the bed on top of a quilt that covered Eveleighs body.
"Please stop the ADVERSARY FAMILY LAW SYSTEM in court. Please take Parent Alienation serious," said the note.
On the back it said: "Right from the beginning. Please let Eveleigh not be forgotten. I murdered my love and I will burn in hell and I am afraid. Pray for Eveleigh. I am sorry. Astrid."