Hamilton paramedics convicted in the death of Yosef al-Hasnawi, 19, sentenced in January


Two Hamilton paramedics convicted in the 2017 death of 19-year-old Yosef al-Hasnawi will be sentenced in mid-January.

An incident in which someone was found guilty of death as a result of their actions while working as a paramedic for the first time in Canada is groundbreaking. Experts say this could change how emergency responders do their work in the future.

Al-Hasnawi was shot dead in 2017 after two men tried to intervene outside an al-Mustafa Islamic Center as they confronted an elderly man.

55-year-old Steven Snively and 32-year-old Christopher Marchant sat in court Tuesday for the second day of sentencing, but defense attorney Jeffrey Manishen argued that he should receive no jail time and instead face a six to nine month conditional sentence. Testing and 100 community service hours.

The Crown argued Monday that he should be jailed for 2½ years.

It was asked if there was confusion about the type of firearm used in the trial

After reading the impact statements of the victims on Monday, Crown Attorney Linda Shinn said the prosecution has proven that paramedics were responsible for al-Hasnawi’s death, and that the jury should consider homicide among other aggravating factors in sentencing. They have not been charged with that crime, but the Criminal Code allows them to consider a non-charge offense under certain circumstances.

If the prosecution wanted to consider homicide, it had to be put on the indictment, and the prosecution had to argue it during the trial, Manison said Tuesday. He said it was “fundamentally unfair” to consider it now.

Manichen said Marchant was the first offender with a good family and had letters of support from his colleagues. The stigma faced by Marchant during public hearings should be considered a mitigating factor, and imprisonment is a “last resort,” he said.

“What happened in December 2017 is out of Mr. Marchant’s nature,” he told Ontario Superior Court Justice Harrison Arrell.

Snively and Merchant testified at their trial that they thought the BB gun pellet had struck al-Hasnawi, but it was actually a 22-caliber handgun.

The Crown argued Monday that Arrell had “heard rumors and intrigue” at the scene about the injury’s outlook, and showed paramedics with preconceived notions about al-Hasnawi’s injuries.

But they are only acting on information received from the consignment, Manishen said Tuesday.

Arel said that the actions of Snively and Marchant that night were a “marked departure” from the minimum standard expected by properly trained paramedics.

Manishen said the scene was described as chaotic and gloomy and may have influenced Marchant and Snively’s judgment that night.

Defense attorneys pushed back against the Crown, saying Marchant showed no remorse for al-Hasnawi.

The Crown and Defense were scheduled to meet in November, but more time would be needed to decide the sentence, Arel said.

He will return to court on January 18 at 10 am ET.


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