Thursday 19 October 2017

Man found guilty of murdering Daniel McAnaspie (17) granted extension to bring appeal

Richard Dekker found guilty of the murder of Daniel McAnaspie (inset) by unanimous jury verdict
Richard Dekker found guilty of the murder of Daniel McAnaspie (inset) by unanimous jury verdict

Ruaidhrí Giblin

A man whose murder conviction earlier this year made legal history as the first recorded after an acquittal, has been granted an extension of time to bring an appeal.

Richard Dekker (30), from the Blanchardstown area of Dublin was unanimously found guilty by a jury at the Central Criminal Court last March of murdering 17-year-old Daniel McAnaspie in February 2010.

Richard Dekker, jailed for life for killing Daniel McAnaspie
Richard Dekker, jailed for life for killing Daniel McAnaspie

The decomposed body of Mr McAnaspie, who had been in the care of the HSE, was discovered by a farmer in a seven-foot ditch in Rathfeigh Co Meath, 30km from where he had been killed.

Dekker's conviction came after a week-long trial and more than eight hours of deliberation by the jury at the Central Criminal Court in March.

When the foreman confirmed that the verdict was unanimous, at least one of Daniel's family could be heard whispering "well done, well done". As Justice Patrick McCarthy announced he was remanding Dekker in custody until a sentencing hearing on April 3 they cheered and clapped. One shouted: "Well done judge, well done jury" while others shouted "Justice for Daniel", a slogan that has been emblazoned on t-shirts worn by the teen victim's family during the trial.

Dekker himself did not react, but sat with his eyes closed as the verdict was announced. Prison guards quickly led him away.

The conviction made legal history as it is the first time a person has been retried under the Criminal Justice Procedure Act 2010, which allows the State to retry a person even after they have been acquitted.

Dekker faced trial in 2013 but was acquitted by the trial judge on the grounds that there was not enough evidence. The State went to the Supreme Court and used the 2010 Act to overturn that decision and try Dekker again.

Dekker's lawyers sought an extension of time to appeal their client's conviction today which was granted by Mr Justice George Birmingham during case management procedures in the Court of Appeal.

His appeal was lodged three weeks late.

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