Saturday 3 December 2016

Family anger as teen admits to rape, murder of schoolgirl

Natasha Reid and Luke Byrne

Published 22/11/2011 | 05:00

A TEENAGER yesterday admitted to the murder and rape of 12-year-old schoolgirl Michaela Davis.

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Appearing at the Central Criminal Court Jonathan Byrne (19), from Lohunda Downs, Clonsilla, west Dublin, pleaded guilty to murdering Michaela on August 28, 2010.

As Byrne admitted his guilt, an uncle of the girl moved forward and shouted at his niece's killer. "You're a bastard," he said.

Michaela was murdered at the playing fields on Porterstown Road, near her home in Clonsilla. Her body was found later that day in undergrowth on a bank of the Royal Canal.

Victim

Byrne, who was 18 at the time and lived close to his victim, also pleaded guilty to two counts of rape against the child on the same occasion.

Dressed in a black suit, he looked forward and showed no emotion as Michaela's uncle lashed out.

Mr Justice Paul Carney directed that Michaela's uncle be apprehended and placed in a cell until he was ready to deal with him.

The uncle and the victim's family later apologised for the interruption.

Counsel for the prosecution said that emotions were running high and Mr Justice Carney agreed to forget about the incident.

The judge remanded Byrne in custody until December 12 when a small amount of evidence will be heard before he receives a mandatory life sentence.

Michaela died as a result of asphyxia due to strangulation, her inquest was told.

A post-mortem revealed that the girl had suffered compression of the neck. It also found that she had been sexually abused.

The child's father, Brendan Davis, was visibly upset as he gave evidence at Dublin County Coroner's Court last December.

He said that he identified his daughter at Blanchardstown Hospital the day after her body was discovered.

Michaela was a first-year student at Luttrellstown and attended her first classes a week before she went missing.

During her funeral her parents, Deirdre and Brendan, said their little girl was full of life.

Irish Independent

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