3 youths guilty in Southlands attack but not of aggravated assault

Three of four boys charged with a stabbing at a house party in 2016 were convicted of common assault on Thursday.

Victim's mother disappointed by ruling, but says son has had full recovery

Charges were laid after a 21-year-old was attacked during a party at his home on Mahogany Place in the Southlands neighbourhood of St. John's. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Three of four boys charged after a brutal stabbing in the Southlands area of St. John's in 2016 have been found guilty of common assault but not guilty of aggravated assault.

The judgement, handed down in provincial court Thursday, is not what the victim's mother was hoping for.

"The fact that they actually found them guility of being there, and attacking my son, but not guilty of causing bodily harm ... My son was stabbed seven times and almost died," said Michelle Bailey.

Video shot on a phone in March 2016 captured part of the attack on 21-year-old Zachary Squires in his family home on Mahogany Place. 

What do I figure they are going to get? Probably probation.- Michelle Bailey

A party there had gotten out of hand, and when Squires tried to break it up, he was stabbed.

The chief medical examiner testified that he would have bled to death if he had not received immediate medical attention.

In his decision Thursday, Judge James Walsh found the fourth youth not guilty of all charges, saying Squires was unable to identify the boy as one of his attackers.

The victim's mother, Michelle Bailey, says her son has recovered, but this has been a trying, and tiring ordeal for the family. (Glenn Payette/CBC News)

Bailey said she was disappointed by that, and does not expect much from the sentencing of the others.  

"I don't think I could put into words what I hope they get. What do I figure they are going to get? Probably probation."

Another man who took part in the attack, Robert Mills, 24, was sentenced in July to three years in prison, and three years probation.

He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and assault with a weapon — brass knuckles — but there was nothing to connect Mills to the knife used in the attack.

Photos entered as evidence shows some of Zachary Squires's wounds. Court was told he could have bled to death. (Glenn Payette/CBC News)

Bailey said her son has made quite a comeback. 

"He's doing really well now. He's had a full recovery, thank goodness. Lots of scars, but he's fine."

But she said it has been an ordeal for the whole family.

"Very trying, very tiring, very emotionally draining. It's been a year-and-a-half or more now. And we are just happy to have it over."

Judge Walsh will sentence the three youths on Dec. 1.

Asked if she will be there, Bailey said, "I suspect I will, yes."

About the Author

Glenn Payette


A veteran journalist with more than 30 years' experience, Glenn Payette is a videojournalist with CBC News in St. John's.