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Sentencing starts for 2 Hamilton paramedics guilty in death of 19-year-old after shooting outside mosque

Hamilton

A two-day sentencing hearing is underway for two paramedics found guilty for failing to provide the necessaries of life to Josif Al-Hasnawi of Hamilton in 2017. The 19-year-old died in hospital after being shot outside a mosque.

Yosif Al-Hasnawi was shot and killed in Hamilton on Dec. 2, 2017, outside a mosque. Two paramedics were found guilty of failing to provide the necessaries of life to the 19-year-old.(Al-Mostafa Islamic Centre)

A two-day sentencing hearing began Monday for two paramedics found guilty for their part in the 2017 death of 19-year-old Yosif Al-Hasnawi of Hamilton.

Steven Snively, 55, and Christopher Marchant, 32, were found guilty in June by an Ontario Superior Court judge of failing to provide the necessaries of life to Al-Hasnawi. The two paramedics were "removed" by the City of Hamilton from working as paramedics in August 2018, a city spokesperson said an email to CBC Hamilton on Monday.

Al-Hasnawi was shot on Dec. 2, 2017, outside a mosque with one of his brothers and others after he intervened when he saw two people accost an older man. He later died in hospital.

Snively and Marchant, who attended the scene, testified in their trial they had believed Al-Hasnawi was shot with a BB gun. However, it was a .22-calibre handgun, and the teenager died from internal bleeding about one hour later.

Dale King, who shot Al-Hasnawi, was acquitted last year of second-degree murder in a decision now under appeal.

In the case involving Snively and Marchant, Justice Harrison Arrell ruled there was a "marked departure" from how a properly trained paramedic would have responded.

The paramedics didn't identify the wound was a penetrating one, and participated in dangerous lifts to move Al-Hasnawi from the sidewalk, Arrell said.

Delay was unjustified, judge said

Snively and Marchant also delayed leaving the scene down the street from the mosque in Hamilton's lower city.

The paramedics spent 23 minutes on scene that night; 17 of those minutes were in the back of the ambulance.

Arrell said the wait was "unjustified" and it was foreseeable the paramedics were risking Al-Hasnawi's life.

Crown attorneys Scott Patterson and Linda Shin had argued the paramedics ignored their training and departed from provincial standards. In closing arguments, they said the medical care the two provided was "grossly negligent."

But the defence said the paramedics were following unconscious biases that night, which led them astray in treating Al-Hasnawi.

They also said that while some of the paramedics' actions may have been mistakes, it didn't necessarily mean they were criminally responsible.

Snively and Marchant testified on their own behalf and said they thought Al-Hasnawi was experiencing a psychiatric emergency.

Arrell presided over the judge-alone trial, which started in November 2020.

Snively and Marchant's conviction carries a sentence that cannot exceed five years.

With files from Bobby Hristova, Christine Rankin and Dan Taekema

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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