Nova Scotia

Mother of nail gun shooting victim 'liberated' by judge's decision

The Pictou County, N.S., carpenter accused of shooting a nail gun at a co-worker has been convicted of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon. Shawn Wade Hynes will be sentenced Nov. 15.

'It was just such a weight off of our shoulders,' Stacey Dlamini says about Shawn Wade Hynes's conviction

Shawn Wade Hynes of Trenton, N.S., was convicted of assault with a weapon and criminal negligence causing bodily harm. (Robert Short/CBC)

The mother of a young man who was shot in the back with a nail gun last year in Pictou County, N.S., says she's "beyond satisfied" by a judge's decision to convict Shawn Wade Hynes.

"I felt vindicated. I felt liberated," said Stacey Dlamini, who was in court Thursday to hear the judge's decision.

Hynes, who is from Pictou County, was convicted of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

"It was just such a weight off of our shoulders, to hear the judge say what we've been saying all this time, that this was an intentional act, that there was a weak culture of safety at the workplace ... that made an action like this possible," Dlamini said.

Nhlanhla Dlamini was shot with a nail gun by a co-worker on a worksite on Sept. 19, 2018. (Steve Berry/CBC)

Hynes's trial took place over three days last week at Pictou provincial court. He was found guilty Thursday by Judge Del Atwood, according to Crown attorney Bill Gorman.

The victim, Nhlanhla Dlamini, testified last week he ran away from Hynes because he didn't feel safe and was shot in the back with a 3½-inch framing nail. Dlamini suffered a punctured lung.

Hynes told the court the incident that happened at a worksite in Abercrombie was an accident. He said the nail ricocheted.

Gorman said Thursday that Atwood accepted the Crown's theory the act was intentional, and rejected the notion it was an accident.

Aside from the verdict, Dlamini said she was pleased Atwood took responsibility for failing to issue a bench warrant for Hynes's arrest when he failed to appear for his first scheduled court date, which could have sped up the process.

Stacey Dlamini says she feels 'vindicated' and 'liberated' by the judge's decision. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Gorman said Atwood intends to release a written account of his decision soon.

Hynes is expected back in Pictou provincial court for sentencing on Nov. 15.

"I'll have to conduct some research based upon these facts in determining what is a fit and proper sentence," Gorman said.