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Bourgeois, Sheahan to be sentenced for Corner Brook stabbing Thursday

Paxton Sheahan (right) and Dillon Bourgeois in court in Corner Brook Wednesday. The pair are expected to be sentenced for aggravated assault today.
Paxton Sheahan (right) and Dillon Bourgeois in court in Corner Brook Wednesday. The pair are expected to be sentenced for aggravated assault today. - Gary Kean

They’ve both been convicted of aggravated assault, but the sentences to be handed to Dillon Bourgeois and Paxton Sheahan today are likely to be quite different.

The two 25-year-old Corner Brook men entered guilty pleas earlier this week in exchange for having attempted murder charges against them dropped by the Crown.

They had each previously pleaded not guilty to both charges stemming from the October 2015 stabbing of Jonathan Park and were set to go to trial Tuesday in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court.

Instead, they both changed their pleas Tuesday morning to the less serious charge and will be sentenced by Justice Garrett Handrigan today. Bourgeois also pleaded guilty to breaking a court order and Sheahan to breaching probation.

Wednesday, Handrigan heard the sentencing recommendations of the Crown and defence.

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Dillon Bourgeois, Paxton Sheahan plead guilty to aggravated assault in Corner Brook court

Paxton Sheahan, Dillon Bourgeois plead not guilty to attempted murder

Sheahan, Bourgeois remain in custody

Crown prosecutor Alana Dwyer requested Bourgeois, who stabbed Park with a knife12 times, be given five years in prison. She said he was the primary attacker and also has a more extensive criminal record that includes a history of violent offences.

Dwyer asked that Sheahan, who restrained Park while Bourgeois stabbed him, be handed a three-year prison term because of his lesser role and more limited criminal record. She emphasized the assault on Park was a joint effort in which Sheahan assisted and still has to be held partly responsible for.

The Crown noted the impact on Park’s life went beyond the serious physical injuries he had to recover from. She told Handrigan that Park will have emotional and physical scars for life and that this has been a life-altering experience for him.

Park was attacked in a parking lot not far from a bar where he and Bourgeois had been in an altercation earlier the same night.

Karen Rehner, who defended Bourgeois in court, said a four-year sentence is more appropriate for her client. Acknowledging Bourgeois was the primary assailant, she said his sentence should not be that much more than Sheahan’s.

Jonathan Regan, Sheahan’s defence lawyer, had no problem with the Crown’s suggestion of three years for his client.

Because they have been in custody for more than two years since the assault, both Bourgeois and Sheahan should qualify for a credit of 1 1/2 days for each day served prior to their conviction. While that would amount to roughly three years time served for Sheahan, he was convicted while in custody of an unrelated offence and, according to Regan, would have to serve an additional 166 days when that sentence is also factored in, should the judge decide to give him three years.

Before adjourning to consider what the lawyers had submitted, Handrigan asked Bourgeois and Sheahan if they had anything to tell the court.

Neither of them had anything to say to the judge or anyone else in the courtroom, including members of the Park and Bourgeois families.

 

Dillon Bourgeois (left) leaves court ahead of Paxton Sheahan.
Dillon Bourgeois (left) leaves court ahead of Paxton Sheahan.

 

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