Former Hamilton paramedics convicted in ‘Good Samaritan’ trial to be sentenced in early 2022

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Published October 26, 2021 at 8:19 pm

Yosif Al-Hasnawi, 19, died in December 2017 after he was shot in Hamilton after trying to stop street harassment. (File photo)

The fourth anniversary of Yosif Al-Hasnawi’s death will pass without his family and friends knowing what sentence two parademics will receive for failing to treat the Good Samaritan’s gunshot wound properly.

Former Hamilton parademics Steven Snively and Christopher Marchant were convicted in June of failing to provide the necessaries of life to Al-Hasnawi when they responded a shooting near the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre in central Hamilton on Dec. 2, 2017. The 19-year-old had just left the place of worship after prayers and intervened when he saw an older man being accosted by two people.

The confrontation escalated and he was shot by another young man, who was later acquitted of manslaughter. That verdict is under appeal.

Snively and Marchant had a sentencing hearing in a Hamilton court this week. On Tuesday (Oct. 26), the court said both will be sentenced on Jan. 18, 2022.

Many legal proceedings have been protracted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawyer availability also affected the dates of the initial trial, which lasted for 32 days.

The Crown is seeking 2½-year prison sentences for moth Snively and Marchant, multiple media reports indicate.

Their defence counsels are  asking for six- to nine-month conditional sentences, probation and 100 hours apiece of community service.

At the pair’s trial, the Hon. Harrison Arrell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice convicted them with the comment, “To say this is a tragic case would be a gross understatement.”

Justice Arrell said they showed a “marked departure” from care standards in their response and that the pair “acted jointly” in failing to conclude that Al-Hasnawi suffered a gun shot wound to the abdomen.

Their counsel claimed the paramedics believed that Al-Hasnawi was suffering from a pellet gun wound and psychiatric trauma and did not need to be rushed to a trauma centre that would have been best suited to perform life-saving emergency surgery. Al-Hasnawi was instead taken to another hospital, where he died of his injuries.

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