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Monday 22 January 2018

Barbara Flanagan: 'He took my only daughter, my baby'

Avril's parents Gerry and Barbara Flanagan
Avril's parents Gerry and Barbara Flanagan

Gerard Couzens Cabo Roig, Spain

THE mother of a young woman viciously stabbed to death in Spain last night told how she is haunted by visions of the killer cleaning up bloodstains as her daughter lay dead on the floor.

Barbara Flanagan (53) said Alan Daulby -- her daughter's former boyfriend -- "destroyed" her life the day he killed Avril (20) in Spain.

And she recalled the moment she saw her daughter lying dead on the floor after being stabbed 47 times.

"I thought to myself at first it couldn't be Abbey (Avril) because she doesn't wear red," Mrs Flanagan said.

"Then I realised it was blood covering her from head to toe and started to scream.

"He had taped her up like a mummy. I got hold of a pair of scissors and cut the tape and plastic from around Abbey's neck and her hair.

"I leant down beside her and said: 'Abbey, I have you love, I have you.'

"She was face down and I was glad because it meant I didn't see everything he had done to her."

Daulby (26) faces a 20-year jail sentence after a jury convicted him on Thursday of stabbing Avril on May 29, 2009, after the young Irish bar worker dumped him.

"He took my only daughter, my baby. We were best friends," Mrs Flanagan, a charity worker, said. "But I can't believe that he had a shower and cleaned up while she lay covered in blood on his floor.

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"That's the one image I have stuck in my mind, of her lying there dead and him showering and tidying up the apartment to try to cover up his awful crime."

Daulby attacked Avril at the flat they had shared in the Costa Blanca resort of Cabo Roig. Hours later, Avril was due to catch a flight back to Ireland with her mum for a 21st birthday party in Swords in Dublin.

He used a mop and bleach to wipe up Avril's blood, before showering and changing clothes.

He tried to stuff her mutilated body into a suitcase but changed his plans after his father and his sister Emeline -- who is married to Avril's brother Ger -- disturbed him.

Mrs Flanagan says anti-depressants and counselling have helped her get through the last three years but she sees Daulby's murder conviction as the chance for a fresh start without medication.

She says she gets on "fantastically" with Daulby's sister Emeline (29).

The beautician had been dating Avril's oldest brother Ger for more than two years when her brother killed Avril. They married on a beach last summer -- after keeping it secret from everyone except Barbara. They have a 22-month-old daughter.

Daulby is set to be sentenced over the next fortnight. Avril's family are all hoping he gets the maximum 20 years Spanish law permits.

Irish Independent

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