Saturday 3 December 2016

David Mahon murder trial: Man accused of killing stepson 'threatened to stab his girlfriend in the neck' - court hears

Eimear Cotter

Published 26/04/2016 | 12:03

Dave Mahon.
Dave Mahon.
Dave and Audrey Mahon.

The former girlfriend of Dean Fitzpatrick has said that his stepfather threatened to come out to her home and stick a knife in her neck, a jury has heard.

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David Mahon (46), of Ongar Village in Clonsilla, denies murdering 23-year-old Dean Fitzpatrick on May 26, 2013.

Mr Fitzpatrick is the brother of Amy Fitzpatrick who went missing in Spain in 2008.

The father-of-one was stabbed to death outside Mahon’s apartment at Burnell Square, Northern Cross in Malahide.

The Central Criminal Court heard this morning from Sarah O'Rourke, Mr Fitzpatrick's former girlfriend and the mother of his young son.

Ms O'Rourke said she last saw Dean on Saturday morning, May 25, 2013. She was going to the shop with her two children when she saw him on his bike.

Dave and Audrey Mahon.
Dave and Audrey Mahon.

She said he stopped and spoke to them, and she saw he had a black eye.

Ms O'Rourke said she questioned Dean about his black eye and he said he owed someone money and he cycled off.

She said that she and Dean had been fighting around the time of his death.  She said the pair had been "arguing quite a bit" and they weren't getting on.

Earlier in the weeks prior to his death, Ms O'Rourke said she had asked Dean to leave their home after she discovered he had been selling tablets, and she wasn't happy about that.

The court heard that Ms O'Rourke received a phone call from David Mahon on the Saturday night.

She said he sounded aggressive and angry about something, and he told her to put Dean on the phone.

Ms O'Rourke said she explained to him the pair were fighting and Dean wasn't with her, and he was probably in his dad's place.

She said Mahon had it in his head that Dean was with her and started getting really aggressive on the phone, saying " Sarah, put him on". She told him "He's not here, Davey".

Ms O'Rourke said Mahon then threatened to "come to Lusk and stick a knife in her neck".

She told the court she thought Mahon was under the influence of alcohol, and she hung up on him.

She then rang her sister and told her Mahon had threatened her and she was frightened.

Ms O'Rourke said she then text Dean, saying Mahon was looking for him, had been really rude to her and he needed to "go and sort it out".

In cross examination, Ms O'Rourke accepted she was "shocked and surprised" on the evening because "she had never seen a bad side" to Mahon.

The court also heard from taxi driver Karl O'Toole, who has been friends with the accused since he was 18 years old.

He said that on the night in question he received a call from Mr Mahon saying he was in a bit of trouble and he and Audrey (Fitzpatrick, his now wife) had split up for good.

Mr O'Toole said the accused was drunk and asked him to come down to his apartment.

He is continuing to give his evidence.

In his opening speech for the prosecution yesterday, Remy Farrell SC said it will be the prosecution case that Mahon stabbed Mr Fitzpatrick in the abdomen.

Mr Farrell said the accused will claim it was an accident and may allege Mr Fitzpatrick had been suicidal, but he told the jurors they would have great difficulty in reconciling that account with Mr Fitzpatrick's injuries.

“There was a piece of intestine protruding,” he said. “In common terms, he had been gutted.”

The Central Criminal Court heard this morning from Paul White, a former gym instructor with Northwood Gym in Santry, who said Mr Mahon approached him on May 24, 2013 complaining his bicycle had been interfered with outside the gym.

Mr White said he looked at CCTV footage and saw a man in a green t-shirt "mess" around with his bike.

Read more: 'Stabbing accused said he would stick a knife in my neck,' murder trial hears

He said Mr Mahon, who was slightly agitated but not angry, told him he wanted the man who interfered with his bike barred from the gym because he was a "bike thief".

Mr White said he told Mr Mahon he couldn't tell from the CCTV who had interfered with his bike, and he couldn't bar someone from the gym without gardai getting involved.

Mr White told the court Mr Mahon said to him he didn't want to go to the gardai.

Conor Troy, the Operations Director of Ben Dunne Gyms, said he received an email from Mr Mahon later that same day, saying a water bottle had been stolen from his bike, and his staff had the culprit on CCTV.

In the email, Mr Mahon claimed gym staff knew who this man was, they had told him he was a bike robber and he wanted him barred from the gym.

Mr Troy said he later spoke to Mr Mahon who again alleged staff knew who the culprit was, and he wanted his membership cancelled.

In his opening speech for the prosecution yesterday, Remy Farrell SC said Mr Fitzpatrick later admitted interfering with the bicycle to annoy Mr Mahon.

The jury heard yesterday that it will be alleged Mr Mahon had been drinking heavily the day Dean came over to see him.

Mr Farrell said it will be the prosecution case that Mahon stabbed Mr Fitzpatrick in the abdomen during this visit.

Mr Farrell said the accused will claim it was an accident and may allege Mr Fitzpatrick had been suicidal, but the State will argue it would be peculiar if it was "suicide by stepfather".

The jury heard Mr Fitzpatrick ran off, collapsed nearby and was tended to by strangers. He died the following day.

Mr Farrell alleged Mahon tried to flee the scene but eventually went to gardai.

“He suggested it’d been an accident, that he had taken the knife off Dean and he had walked onto it, impaling himself,” said Mr Farrell.

Mr Farrell told the jurors they would have great difficulty in reconciling that account with Mr Fitzpatrick's injuries.

“There was a piece of intestine protruding,” he said. “In common terms, he had been gutted.”

The trial continues before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan and a jury of six men and six women.

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