NEWS

Nova Scotia Boy Found Guilty Of Pushing Student To Death Under Bus

10/07/2015 11:07 EDT | Updated 10/07/2015 12:59 EDT
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SYDNEY, N.S.-- A 15-year-old boy has been found guilty of criminal negligence causing the death of a fellow high school student who was pushed under a bus in Cape Breton.

The teen, who can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, shoved Christopher Chafe down an embankment outside Sydney Academy last winter.

Court heard the rear wheels of the school bus rolled over Chafe's head and he was pronounced dead at the scene on Feb. 11, 2015.

The defence argued the accused was acting like a typical boy his age engaged in ordinary horseplay, rather than reckless or aggressive behaviour.

But provincial court Judge Peter Ross dismissed that argument, saying the accused should have appreciated the risk of pushing someone and knowing that a bus was approaching.

"It is not horseplay to push someone in the path of an approaching vehicle, knowing that it is approaching,'' Ross said.

The youth, ``even at 15 years of age, was capable of appreciating the risk entailed. His act was highly reckless. His shove caused the fatal slide down onto the street. He ought to have known that he was putting (the victim's) life at risk.''

Crown prosecutor Steve Melnick said outside court that the case was unusual because of the accused's age and the lack of similar case law.

"Most of the cases, the case law was dealing with driving issues involving motor vehicles. While this one involved a school bus ...it's not the same scenario,'' he added. "So it's a very unusual case.''

Defence lawyer James Snow says it was a tough decision for the young man and his family, who reacted emotionally to the judge's verdict.