Man who stabbed woman sentenced to two years in jail

Rosie Mullaley
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David Joseph Harrington. — Telegram photo

A man who stabbed a woman on Torbay Road in February has been sentenced to two years less a day in jail, with three years' probation.

David Joseph Harrington was handed the sentence today in provincial court in St. John's.

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. A charge of assault with a weapon was withdrawn by the Crown.

In rendering his decision, Judge Mike Madden said while Harrington is of aboriginal descent and did plead guilty, the seriousness of the offence warrants stiff punishment.

He said Harrington attacked a vulnerable young woman who was on her way to work. He said the randomness of the attack is "frightening."

"Everyone, everyone in this courtroom, on Water Street, we're all vulnerable as we go about our day-to-day lives and you took advantage of that,” Madden said.

"You robbed the victim of her peace of mind. Everyone should be able to walk the streets without the fear if being attacked."

The victim, Kayla English, was in the courtroom to hear the decision. The 22-year-old told reporters outside court that she's glad the ordeal is over and that it's brought closure for her.

Harrington stabbed English on Torbay Road as she was walking to work at McDonalds.

After Harrington ran off, English managed to flag down a passing car. The driver called 911 and English was rushed to hospital.

The six-inch blade went through her chest, puncturing her abdominal cavity and caused a laceration in her diaphragm. She needed 27 staples to repair the wound from surgery.

"It's lucky she wasn't killed," Madden said

Harrington addressed the court, apologizing to English and her family.

However, the judge said, "Whatever apology you can offer does little in alleviating the injuries you caused to her."

More coverage in Saturday’s Telegram.



Geographic location: Torbay Road, St. John's, Water Street

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Recent comments

  • stephen short
    May 25, 2012 - 21:13

    Insidious ruling. this thug should be sentenced to a minimum of 12 yrs. As a Nflder , I feel so sad,but free to stab who i want. This verdict speaks volumes for Newfie Justice.bleeding hearts whose famalies live behind money walls. SHAME SHAME SHAME.The person who was stabbed obviously is not related to anyone on the bench,or this would have been a totally different call. This scum belongs behind bars for many years.

  • John Smith
    May 25, 2012 - 18:57

    Wow...a few months vacation for this scumbag. He walked up to an innocent young girl and stabbed her near her heart...could have easily killed her. Our justice system just becomes more and more meaningless by the day. I guess the next time he stabbs someone he will get more time...

  • Huh
    May 25, 2012 - 15:44

    2 years? For an attack that mostly likely would have killed her? 2 years? The local newspapers will throw up $100 worth of pot as a front page headline but nobody has a problem with a guy getting 2 years for attempted murder?

  • Jen from mt pearl
    May 25, 2012 - 15:09

    this is absolutely outrageous.... 2yrs!! There is a saying in NL and i'm sure everyone has heard it " you'd get more for shooting a moose"!! This is a true statment. What about this pour girls pain and suffering??? she will never be the same again and will probably live in fear for the rest of her life. This monster will be out in no time to do it again, and next time the victim might not be so lucky to live. A sick individual who goes around stabbing people just don't stop be crazy. blowns my mind our justice system is this useless, it's a shame!! God love the survivor.

  • ewen jones
    May 25, 2012 - 13:34

    It will never be any better until Judges are elected instead of political appointments.Shouls have been another 2 in that conviction.....

  • Christa
    May 25, 2012 - 13:17

    There is something SERIOUSLY wrong with our Justice system. Holy moly. 2 years for stabbing someone, really? This story is a prime example WHY people are out stabbing/killing and abusing people. They know they'll only get a slap on the freakin' wrist for doing so. Google "Shirley Turner" and little ;;Zachery Turner;;..another example of how Newfoundland's Justice system in the toilet. SMARTEN UP people. Christ!

  • don from torbay
    May 25, 2012 - 12:56

    Two years less a day in jail, with three years' probation!!!!!!! That's not bad for attempted murder!!! This woman is lucky to be alive....or is it the other way he is lucky she is alive to get such a GREAT verdict!!! THIS SENTENCE IS A JOKE!!! So if the out come had to be different for this poor girl and she didn’t make it, how would this change the sentence....? They have to make an example of the people that do these sorts of crimes. If they do not do something the people that these crime affect (e.g.: family, friends and loved ones) will feel that the justice system doesn’t work and they will hand down their own sentencing!!!!!

  • Joe it all
    May 25, 2012 - 12:44

    That sentence is not even close to being enough. It should have been a charge of attempted murder and a sentence of 10 years or so!!

  • Don
    May 25, 2012 - 12:44


  • Sophia
    May 25, 2012 - 12:23

    "In rendering his decision, Judge Mike Madden said while Harrington is of aboriginal descent and did plead guilty, the seriousness of the offence warrants stiff punishment." What difference does it make that he is of aboriginal descent? Does his crime not count then? What a tacky, negligent comment that the writer should have omitted and that the editor should have picked up on.

    • Harry
      May 25, 2012 - 12:39

      Sophia, the judge said it, therefore the the reporter reported it - no fault on the reporter there. As to the judge saying it, Canadian law (like it or not) has special sentencing considerations for aboriginals.