Thursday 23 February 2017

David Mahon murder trial: Stabbing accused stepdad told friend - 'Dean is dead... the knife went through him'

Eimear Cotter

Murder accused David Mahon arrives in court with his wife, Audrey, who is mother of Dean Fitzpatrick, whom Mahon is alleged to have stabbed. Photo: Collins
Murder accused David Mahon arrives in court with his wife, Audrey, who is mother of Dean Fitzpatrick, whom Mahon is alleged to have stabbed. Photo: Collins

Father-of-one Dean Fitzpatrick had "stuff going on about his girlfriend and his missing sister in the week before his death", his father has told a jury in his murder trial.

David Mahon (46), of Ongar Village in Clonsilla, has denied 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.

He was stabbed to death outside Mr Mahon’s apartment at Burnell Square, Northern Cross in Malahide.

Dean's father Christopher Fitzpatrick told the Central Criminal Court this morning that he received a call from gardai to go Beaumont Hospital in the early hours of May 26 because his son had been injured.

Mr Fitzpatrick said he arrived with his sister and her husband, and they were taken into the family room.

Dave Mahon and his wife Audrey at Dublin Central Criminal Court Photo: Collins Courts
Dave Mahon and his wife Audrey at Dublin Central Criminal Court Photo: Collins Courts

He said the surgeon came in and told him he had brought Dean back to life twice but he had been unable to save him.

He said he formally identified the body of his son the next morning, on May 26.

Dean Fitzpatrick. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Dean Fitzpatrick. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

In cross examination, Mr Fitzpatrick said Dean had been living with him in the last week of his life.

Mr Fitzpatrick told the court that his son had "stuff going on about his girlfriend, his missing sister and not being able to see his son".

Dean Fitzpatrick
Dean Fitzpatrick

Yesterday, the court heard from taxi driver Karl O'Toole, who was in the apartment when Dean Fitzpatrick arrived.

He said Mr Mahon accused Dean of taking his water bottle from his bike. Mr Fitzpatrick eventually admitted he took it and would return it the next day, and he got up and left.

Mr O'Toole said Mr Mahon told him "I'll be back in a minute" and he went out onto the landing.

Mr Mahon wasn't gone for long, maybe a minute, and when he came back he was holding a knife.

Mr O'Toole said he got "such a fright". He said the knife was "a large knife, a long knife", and he hadn't seen it prior to this.

He said Mr Mahon said: "You've to get me out of here. I have to go". He said Mr Mahon was very agitated, so he grabbed his keys and they left the apartment.

The court heard they drove around north Dublin for a while and Mr O'Toole said Mr Mahon told him he thinks "Dean is dead" and he thinks "the knife went through him".

The pair then drove to Mr Mahon's father's home.

Mr O'Toole said Mr Mahon told his father, Mick, that "Dean came at him with a knife and he ended up being stabbed".

Asked by Remy Farrell SC if Dave Mahon had stabbed Dean, Mr O'Toole said "yeah".

Mr O'Toole said Dave also told his father that Mr Fitzpatrick had been sending him threatening text messages during the previous three or four days.

The jury also heard from Mr Fitzpatrick's former girlfriend Sarah O'Rourke who said Mr Mahon threatened to come out to her home and stick a knife in her neck.

She said he rang her on the Saturday night looking for Dean, and when she told him he wasn't with her, he started getting really aggressive on the phone, saying " Sarah, put him on".

She told him; "He's not here, Davey".

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

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

She also said she and Dean had been fighting around the time of his death and she had asked him to leave their home in the week prior to his death after she discovered he had been selling tablets.

Pathologist

Dean Fitzpatrick died due to torrential bleeding caused by a single stab wound to the stomach, the jury also heard.

Deputy State Pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis, said he conducted the post-mortem on Mr Fitzpatrick on May 26, 2013.

He said the deceased was a young adult male, 5'11 1/2 inches tall of average to muscular build.

Dr Curtis said he had brown hair and eyebrows and his eyes were blue.

The pathologist noted a number of healing bruises on Mr Fitzpatrick's body, as well as crusted scab wounds and that he had a black eye.

Dr Curtis said there were also multiple old scars on Mr Fitzpatrick's arm which may indicate a past episode of self-harm.

Dr Curtis said Mr Fitzpatrick died as a result of a single horizontal stabbing on the left side of his abdomen, which transfixed the aorta, which is the main blood vessel of the body, and terminated at the spine.

Dr Curtis said the stab wound was approximately 14.5cm in depth, but accepted it could have been as little as 12.5cm.

Despite emergency treatment, Dr Curtis said the injury was essentially non-survivable, and Mr Fitzpatrick died as a result of a "torrential haemorrhage", or bleeding.

Dr Curtis also said that in this case he could not distinguish between a "run on", which he described as when an injured person advances and comes onto a knife, and a deliberate thrust of a knife.

Cross examined by Sean Guerin SC, Dr Curtis also said there was no evidence of twisting of the knife, nor was there any lateral movement or "slicing" of the knife.

Mr Guerin said it was suggested in the prosecution's opening statement that Mr Fitzpatrick had suffered a "gutting", but Dr Curtis agreed that what "Mr Fitzpatrick suffered was not a gutting".

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