Hamilton

Hamilton paramedics guilty in death of Yosif Al-Hasnawi, 19, to be sentenced in January

The two Hamilton paramedics guilty for their part in the death of 19-year-old Yosif Al-Hasnawi, who was shot outside a mosque in 2017, will be sentenced in mid-January.

The Crown argued during sentencing hearing the 2 men should be incarcerated for 2½ years

Yosif Al-Hasnawi was shot and killed in Hamilton on Dec. 2, 2017. The two paramedics found guilty for failing to provide the necessaries of life to the 19-year-old are set to be sentenced in January. (Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre)

The two Hamilton paramedics guilty for their part in the 2017 death of 19-year-old Yosif Al-Hasnawi will be sentenced in mid-January.

The ground-breaking case marked the first time paramedics in Canada were found guilty for their part in someone's death as a result of their actions while working. Experts have said it may change how emergency responders do their job in the future.

Al-Hasnawi was shot outside of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre in 2017 after trying to intervene as two people confronted an older man.

Steven Snively, 55, and Christopher Marchant, 32, sat in court Tuesday, the second day of their sentencing hearing, while defence attorney Jeffrey Manishen argued they should receive no jail time and instead face a conditional sentence of six to nine months, followed by probation and 100 community service hours.

The Crown argued Monday that they should be incarcerated for 2½ years.

Trial heard of confusion over type of gun used 

After reading victim impact statements on Monday, Crown attorney Linda Shin said the prosecution proved the paramedics caused Al-Hasnawi's death and the judge should consider manslaughter among other aggravating factors in sentencing. They weren't charged with that offence, but the Criminal Code allows for an uncharged offence to be considered in some situations.

Manishen said Tuesday if the prosecution wants to consider manslaughter, it should have been put on the indictment and the prosecution should have argued it during trial. They said it was "fundamentally unfair" for them to consider it now.

Manishen also said Marchant is a first-time offender with a good family and has letters of support from his colleagues. He added the stigma Marchant has faced during the public trial should be considered as a mitigating factor and incarceration should be a "last resort."

"What happened in December 2017 was out of character for Mr. Marchant," he told Ontario Superior Court Justice Harrison Arrell.

Snively and Marchant testified in their trial they thought a BB gun pellet hit Al-Hasnawi, but it was actually a.22-calibre handgun.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Harrison Arrell found Christopher Marchant, 32, and Steven Snively, 55, guilty in June. (Pam Davies/CBC)

Arrell found the now-fired paramedics "listened to rumours and innuendos" at the scene about the wound being superficial and the Crown argued Monday the paramedics showed up with pre-conceived notions about Al-Hasnawi's injuries.

But Manishen said Tuesday they were only working on the information they received from dispatch.

Arrell said Snively's and Marchant's actions that night amounted to a "marked departure" from the minimum standard expected of properly trained paramedics.

Manishen said the scene was described as chaotic and dark, and may have impacted Marchant's and Snively's judgment that night.

The defence attorney also pushed back against the Crown, saying Marchant showed no remorse for Al-Hasnawi.

The Crown and defence were set to meet in November, but Arrell said he would need more time to determine a sentence.

They'll return to court on Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. ET.

With files from Christine Rankin

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