The person who made dozens of hoax calls to workers on the care dwelling that may later report Canada’s first dying from COVID-19 has been sentenced for his “elaborate, harmful and damaging deception,” although he will not serve any extra time past bars for the crime.
Taymour Aghtai, 28, stood in provincial courtroom on Tuesday as he was sentenced to 2 years much less a day for his behaviour in direction of workers on the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, B.C., within the earliest days of the pandemic.
“Its senselessness was matched solely by its cruelty,” stated Decide Patricia Janzen, chastising Aghtai about his crime.
“You not have the excuse of being an immature, self-absorbed and inconsiderate 13-year-old — your age on the time you dedicated this offence for the primary time.”
With credit score for time served since his arrest in September 2020, Aghtai has already accomplished his sentence.
Lies had ‘devastating impact’ on affected person care
Because the choose learn her choice to the courtroom Tuesday, Aghtai sat within the prisoner’s field in a pink T-shirt, his darkish hair cropped quick and beard grown out. He sat nonetheless as she described how his calls tormented weak residents, anxious workers and their frightened households on the care centre.
“You unfold harmful and disturbing lies within the context of a terrifying new, contagious and untreatable illness,” stated Janzen. “Because of your lies, resident care suffered considerably … all at an already difficult time.”
On March 6, 2020, B.C. Provincial Well being Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared an outbreak of COVID-19 contained in the centre.
The next evening, Aghtai began calling. He did not cease for greater than a day.
Then 25, he first referred to as the care centre pretending to be a well being officer from the B.C. Centre for Illness Management round 11 p.m.
He informed the nurse on the telephone that the power was being locked down and satisfied her to provide him cellphone numbers for different workers members — together with managers, directors and different nurses.
Aghtai made greater than 60 calls over the following two hours, telling extra staff the care centre was being shut down as a result of testing had confirmed extra circumstances of COVID-19. In some circumstances, he informed nurses they’d examined optimistic and wanted to quarantine.
The following day, greater than 80 per cent of centre’s workers stayed dwelling from work. The ability has greater than 200 beds, with many residents inside needing common consideration and care for advanced wants starting from catheters to grownup diapers.
Workers who had been already contained in the centre pulled double shifts to assist whereas frantic households crowded the parking zone exterior.
Later that day, a male resident in his 80s died — Canada’s first dying from COVID-19.
One other prank name
Final month, Aghtai pleaded responsible to conveying a false message with intent to alarm for his behaviour in direction of Lynn Valley Care Centre. He additionally pleaded responsible to a cost of public mischief for “swatting” a division retailer on Vancouver Island in 2019.
That November, Aghtai referred to as 911 and stated an armed Black man sporting physique armour was robbing a Fields retailer in Parksville. He informed a dispatcher he was hiding within the toilet.
Ten law enforcement officials responded to what they believed to be an energetic shooter state of affairs, solely to seek out out the decision was faux. Aghtai later referred to as the shop supervisor pretending to be a police officer investigating the case.
“Swatting” is a harassment approach that includes making a faux name to emergency responders to attract a police response in opposition to an harmless goal.
Studying from an agreed assertion of info on Tuesday, Janzen stated Aghtai had a “very privileged” upbringing. He didn’t have his personal job and as a substitute had full monetary help from his father, who paid for his housing.
He dedicated greater than 60 legal offences from age 13 to 26. He is been sentenced 5 occasions earlier than for conveying a false message with intent to alarm, as within the care centre case.
“Your legal report is appalling,” Janzen stated.
Throughout sentencing submissions, Aghtai informed the courtroom it was “time to develop up” and apologized. Janzen stated she gave his apology little weight in her sentencing choice.
“Your historical past of offending suggests your regret is unlikely to be honest or based mostly on any real perception,” she stated.
Aghtai stays in custody on different expenses.