Man gets life for the murder and rape of 12 year old Michaela
Published 12/12/2011 | 16:18
A MAN has been sentenced to life for the murder and rape of Dublin schoolgirl Michaela Davis.
The body of the 12 year-old was found on the banks of the royal canal near her home in Clonsilla on the afternoon of August 28 last year.
Jonathan Byrne, 20, admitted raping Michaela Davis twice before strangling her at the playing fields on Porterstown Road on August 27, 2010..He then dragged her body to the bank of the Royal Canal, where it was found the following afternoon.
Michaela had just started in a new school that day on and was very excited and happy.
The court was told she went out a few times that evening, but always came back at the time her mother told her. But at 11.30pm she asked again to go out for 15 minutes and when she had not returned by 2am, her father called gardaí.
Jonathon Byrne was 18 at the time and in a relationship with Michaela, whom he knew was only 12. Her parents told her to end it because they suspected he was giving her alcohol. At the time they thought he was only 14.
As Gardaí frantically searched for Michaela that night, they called to Byrne’s home at 3.45am. He lied to them and told them he left her at 11pm.
When they later searched his bedroom the next day, Byrne's father alerted them to a bag of wet clothes hidden in the base of his bed.
The teenager was arrested and admitted he had raped Michaela twice and strangled her. He said he had dragged her body around the fields, not knowing what to do with it, before dumping it beside the canal bank.
Michaela Davis's parents Brendan and Deirdre said the core of their family life had come to an end after the murder. But they said they were happy with the verdict and that Michaela deserved justice for the pain and suffering she endured in the last moments of her life.
Mr Justice Paul Carney registered the now 20-year-old as a sex offender and sentenced him to life in prison.
Byrne of Lohunda Downs, Clonsilla, Co Dublin had lived close to Michaela, whose family home was in Porterstown, west Dublin.
As they buried their daughter in early September 2010 the heartbroken mother and father of murdered schoolgirl Michaela told how they were enduring every parent's worst nightmare
They described the 12-year-old's death as "the needless loss of a girl barely beginning life".
And they spoke poignantly of how she had been due to hand in her first secondary school homework.
Her parents, Deirdre and Brendan, said their little girl was a child who was full of life and brought them much joy.
"She was very close to her mam, dad and brother Brendan," they said.
"They were always there for one another. Michaela had started her first day of secondary school on Thursday last. She was given her first homework . . . never to be answered."
Michaela had just started first year at Luttrellstown Community College in Dublin when her life was cut short.
"All Michaela's friends are heartbroken at the moment and cannot get their heads around this tragedy, no more than the rest of the extended family and friends. The awful loss of a young child, the needless loss of a girl barely beginning life.
"This situation is not and never will be about the crime or the perpetrator, it's about Michaela, and the realisation of a parent's worst fear -- to lose a child so full of life," the statement had ended.