Thursday 29 September 2016

David Mahon murder trial: 'I have three or four mood swings a day' - Court hears deceased had feelings of guilt over missing sister Amy Fitzpatrick

Natasha Reid

Published 28/04/2016 | 17:15

David Mahon (45) of Ongar Village in Consilla, arrives at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin yesterday with his wife Audrey where he is on trial charged with the murder of Audrey’s son, Dean Fitzpatrick in 2013. Photo: Collins Courts
David Mahon (45) of Ongar Village in Consilla, arrives at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin yesterday with his wife Audrey where he is on trial charged with the murder of Audrey’s son, Dean Fitzpatrick in 2013. Photo: Collins Courts

The trial of a man charged with murdering his stepson has heard that the deceased had a death wish over feelings of guilt about his missing sister, Amy Fitzpatrick.

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The court heard earlier that the accused, David Mahon, had voiced the possibility that Dean Fitzpatrick had walked into the knife he was holding on purpose.

The 45-year-old Dubliner has pleaded not guilty to murdering the father of one on May 26th, 2013, a day after the deceased interfered with his bicycle to annoy him.

The 23-year-old received a stab wound to the abdomen outside the apartment that his mother shared with Mr Mahon at Burnell Square, Northern Cross. He bled to death internally and the prosecution described it as a ‘gutting’ in the opening speech to the Central Criminal Court.

Missing Amy Fitzpatrick. Pic Frank Mc Grath
Missing Amy Fitzpatrick. Pic Frank Mc Grath

Detective Sergeant Eddie Carroll testified today that the gardai had acquired Mr Fitzpatrick’s file from North Dublin Mental Health Services, after hearing Mr Mahon’s account of his relationship with his stepson. The court already heard that Mr Mahon told gardai that Mr Fitzpatrick had self-harmed.

D Sgt Carroll said that Mr Fitzpatrick had told medical personnel that his substance abuse began when he was 11 and included the abuse of hash, cocaine and tablets. He said that in July 2009, he reported low mood, self harm and having cut himself to relieve tension.

“I feel I’m Superman. Nothing can happen to me when I drink,” he told them when he was 19.

“I have three or four mood swings a day,” he continued. “I can’t control it. I need something to calm me down.”

He reported in 2010 that he’d had a death wish and admitted himself to St Ita’s Hospital in Portrane in 2011. This was a crisis admission following stressors that included accommodation issues, relationship issues with his partner and family as well as legal issues. He was discharged within weeks.

He reported the following year that he had self harmed or attempted to do so by cutting himself. He outlined three occasions where he had self-harmed, including one with cocaine, one where he stabbed himself in the hand and one where he had cut his forearms.

“I wanted to die,” he said, explaining that this feeling was in the past. He was prescribed an anti-psychotic.

Mr Fitzpatrick also told a medic that he had been convicted of the attempted murder of a policeman in Spain. The detective sergeant could not confirm if this had happened. However, Mr Mahon told gardai that his stepson had stolen his car and run over the officer.

Under cross examination by the defence, D Sgt Carroll confirmed that the death wish he had expressed was in relation to feelings of guilt he had regarding his missing sister, and that he reported gaining release from cutting himself.

The jury had spent the morning listening to memos of garda interviews with David Mahon. The court was also shown segments of videos of the interviews, in which he stood up and gestured how the incident had happened.

The court had already heard that he had gone voluntarily to the gardai and said that Mr Fitzpatrick had walked into the knife that (he) Mr Mahon had taken from him. He said that his stepson had pulled the knife on him shortly beforehand.

Detective Garda Brendan Mears testified that he interviewed Mr Mahon following his arrest on May 26th. He was asked if he had seen a solicitor and he said he had.

“They said not to say anything but, look, I’ve nothing to hide,” he said. “It’s my fault. I can’t believe it. What will Audrey say? 23 years of age. Jesus Christ.”

He was referring to his then partner, now wife, and Mr Fitzpatrick’s mother, Audrey Fitzpatrick. He was asked about the family background.

“We’re going out 12 years. We moved to Spain. You know Amy went missing,” he said.

The court has already heard that Mr Fitzpatrick was the older brother of Amy Fitzpatrick, who went missing in Spain in 2008 and has never been found.

“I think there’s something wrong with her (Audrey Fitzpatrick’s) husband,” he said. “God forgive me but I think he (the deceased) has the same genes as his father.”

He said they had a great life in Spain with eight or nine houses and bars.

“We were millionaires really, but spent it all looking for Amy,” he said.

“I wish it was me,” he repeated later.

He was asked about his relationship with the deceased and he said it was ‘not good, up and down’.

“I hit him once in Spain when he pulled a knife on me,” he said.

“I’m sitting in my cell and thinking: Did he want to walk into the knife?” he said at one stage.

“Is it an accident or murder? I don’t know, but it’s my fault,” he said.

“This is going to kill her (Audrey Fitzpatrick), the stress. How much can anybody take?” he asked. “Will I spend the rest of my life in prison?”

He said that his stepson had texted him: ‘What’s this? You’re going to stab me?’

“I know it doesn’t look good for me, but it is what it is,” he said, having already explained that he had told his partner he was going to stab him, but that he didn’t mean it.

“Part of me thinks he wanted it, but I don’t know,” he said later.

The prosecution has now closed its case. The trial continues before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan.

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