Thursday 27 October 2016

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

Eimear Cotter

Published 27/04/2016 | 02:30

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
Dean Fitzpatrick. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Missing Amy Fitzpatrick. Pic Frank Mc Grath

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

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David Mahon (46) sounded "aggressive" and "angry about something" when he rang her, Dean's former girlfriend Sarah O'Rourke told the Central Criminal Court.

The jury heard there were numerous calls made by Mr Mahon to his stepson Dean Fitzpatrick on the night he died.

Some were answered, but most were not.

Mr Mahon is alleged to have told his own father that Dean had been sending him threatening text messages in the days leading up to his death.

His long-time friend Karl O'Toole also claimed Mr Mahon told his father Mr Fitzpatrick "came at him with a knife" and "he ended up being stabbed".

The accused, 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 when she was 15.

Dean Fitzpatrick was stabbed to death outside Mahon's apartment at Burnell Square, Northern Cross in Malahide.

Sarah O'Rourke, Mr Fitzpatrick's former girlfriend and the mother of his young son, told the jury she last saw Dean on Saturday morning, May 25, 2013 as she was going to the shop with her two children.

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

She questioned Dean about his black eye and he said he owed someone money and he cycled off.

She also said she and Dean had been fighting around the time of his death, and they weren't getting on.

Earlier in the week prior to his death, Ms O'Rourke said she had asked Dean to leave their home after she discovered he had been selling tablets.

Ms O'Rourke also told the jury she received a phone call from Mr Mahon on the Saturday night.

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

Ms O'Rourke explained the pair were fighting and Dean was probably in his dad's place.

She said Mr Mahon had it in his head that Dean was with her and he started getting 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 your neck".

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

Ms O'Rourke said she then texted Dean, saying Mr Mahon was looking for him and he needed to "go and sort it out".

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

The court also heard from taxi driver Karl O'Toole who said his friend Mr Mahon called him on the Saturday night, saying he was in a bit of trouble and he and Audrey (Fitzpatrick, now his wife) had split up for good.

He said he went to Mr Mahon's apartment and was there when Dean Fitzpatrick arrived.

Mr O'Toole said the accused was drunk.

He said Mr Mahon accused Dean of stealing a part of his bike and he initially denied it, but then admitted he'd done it to annoy him.

Mr O'Toole said both men were agitated, but Dean said he'd return the part the following day and he left.

He said Mr Mahon told him: "I'll be back in a minute" and went out on to the landing.

He said 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" and described the knife as "a large knife, a long knife".

He said Mr Mahon said: "You'll have to get me out of here. I have to go".

Mr Mahon was very agitated, Mr O'Toole said, so they left the apartment, got into his taxi and he was "just driving".

He drove on the back roads towards Swords, and he recalled Mr Mahon asking him to stay off the motorways due to CCTV.

Mr O'Toole said Mr Mahon told him he thought "Dean is dead" and "the knife went through him".

He said he advised him to go to the gardaí, but "Dave was not really making any sense at all".

The pair then drove to Mr Mahon's father's house, arriving at 3am or 4am.

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

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

Mr O'Toole said Mr Mahon also told his father that Dean had been sending him threatening text messages.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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