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Trial for Pictou County man accused of shooting co-worker with a nail gun underway

Shawn Wade Hynes follows his lawyer into the court room. Hynes is charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon. He has pled not guilty.
Shawn Wade Hynes follows his lawyer into the court room. Hynes is charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon. He has pled not guilty. - Brendan Ahern

Nhlanhla Dlamini takes stand to tell of incident

PICTOU, N.S. —

Nhlanhla Dlamini says he can still feel the pain of a nail hitting him in the back.

Dlamini was the first witness called at the Pictou provincial court trial of Shawn Wade Hynes, who is accused of firing a nail gun at Dlamini. Hynes is charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

Crown attorney Bill Gorman asked Dlamini about his carpentry experience and education before he started to work for P.Q. Properties, his employer at the time of the incident, which occurred on Sept. 19, 2018.

Gorman asked him about the types of nail guns that could be found on a construction site. A number of photographs were entered into evidence including photos of the type of nail gun used on the site. However, it was not a photo of the exact tool that Dlamini alleges Hynes shot him with.

A framing nailer has an air compressor hose connected to the base of the gun. Dlamini described to the court how these tools work, explaining that the only way that the trigger on the gun works is if the front of the gun is pressed firmly against the material being worked on.

“I heard the air compressor release the air and that’s when the air nailer got me in the back,” he testified.

He stated that Hynes was standing on a platform five feet off the ground and fired from that position.

Dlamini describes the nail hitting him at “a downward angle.”

“I feel it to this day.”

He then told the court that Hynes immediately jumped down saying, “I didn’t think I’d hit you man, I’m sorry.”

He then, according to Dlamini, pulled the nail out of him at Dlamini’s request.

“I was asking him to pull it out.”

Dlamini said that other workers including the project foreman and company owner Paul Quinn came to the scene.

Dlamini told the court that Hynes explained that the nail had ricocheted off a wall and hit him.

Dr. Dwayne Coad, who treated Dlamini at the Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow, said Dlamini had a small puncture when he arrived at the Aberdeen Hospital.

“I was given the information that it was done by an air nail,” he testified. “The only thing that I was thinking of after that was if there were shards of the nail left behind.”

He checked the X-ray and found none.

Dlamini did have a punctured lung.

“Every time you take a breath, a little more air goes in. That pushes the whole lung and the whole heart to the side of the chest,” Coad said. “It can become quite serious.”

Following Dr. Coad’s testimony, Gorman called on Dlamini’s former employer and owner of P.Q. Properties, Paul Quinn.

When the question of whether or not a person could manually pull the safety back on the kind of nail gun used on the worksite, Quinn responded that it could be fired but not without harm to the person wielding it.

“Nobody would do that,” said Quinn. During cross examination by the defence, Quinn testified that he had never seen Hynes pull the safety back on a nail gun in the past, or engage in unsafe practices.

The trial will resume on Sept. 18.


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