A judge has given a guilty verdict to a man who was shot by regional police and says that the sergeant who shot him did nothing wrong.
Justice Tony Skarika ruled Friday morning that Joshua Hannaford stole and possessed guns as he was running away from police during a March 2018 incident.
His application of excessive use of police force was also dismissed by the judge. Skarika said Sergeant Richard Dorling acted reasonably given reports of stolen firearms and was prepared to risk his life.
In a 100-plus page decision provided to lawyers and the media, the judge called Hannaford unreliable and not credible.
Hannaford claimed on the stand that he didn’t know about the stolen guns in the stolen van he was driving.
The judge ruled that his evidence was replete with contradictions, inconsistencies, and concerns.
Hannaford was seen in the courtroom in a wheelchair mouthing “I love you” to his mother as he was wheeled out.
Hannaford will be sentenced on April 17. He has the option to appeal the judge’s decision within 30 days of being sentenced.
“Boy did the judge send a message,” said CTV legal analyst Ari Goldkind. “This is clear as day to the SIU that he is simply not buying what the SIU is selling.”
Dorling was charged by the SIU for attempted murder in relation to the shooting. The preliminary hearing for his case is this summer.
“While prosecutors may review this judge’s scathing decision about the accused and commending of the officer these are very much separate proceedings,” said Goldkind.
During the March 2018 incident, police tracked down a stolen van with two stolen guns in it to Cambridge where Hannaford was the driver.
The van was stuck in a field when Hannaford ran out and was later confronted by Dorling.
Dorling testified that Hannaford yelled “I want to die” and was holding a handle of something in front of his pants.
Hannaford denied the claim on the stand and said he yelled “I just want to go home.”
He was shot at six times when the final bullet him in the leg.