People who break health rules by holding parties that lead to death from COVID-19 should heed the warning from a British Columbia judge about facing a manslaughter charge, legal experts say.
Lisa Dufraimont of York University’s Osgoode Hall law school said manslaughter charges stem from an unlawful act that causes death and a foreseeable activity that could cause bodily harm.
“And if in fact it does cause someone’s death, as the judge said, then that could amount to manslaughter,” Prof. Dufraimont said in an interview Thursday. “The judge is right about that.”
Provincial Justice Ellen Gordon chastised Mohammad Movassaghi this week as she sentenced him to one day in jail, a $5,000 fine and 18 months of probation. He had previously pleaded guilty to disobeying a court order, failing to comply with a health officer’s order and unlawfully purchasing grain alcohol.
The court heard he held a party for 78 people in a 1,780-square-foot penthouse condominium that police described as a makeshift nightclub.
Justice Gordon called the event “a crime, not a party,” adding that it was something attended by people “foolish enough” to put their own and their grandmothers’ health at risk.